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Cloning Essay, Research Paper

CLONING: Is it really worth it?

If you pay any attention to the news whatsoever you?ve probably heard about cloning. Cloning is the most controversial issue today. Quite simply put, cloning is duplicating or making a copy of something, usually a cell or DNA. Scientists for a while now successfully have been testing it out on animals. A clone, however, is only genetically identical to its donor, not physically or behaviorally identical. Cloning is a very touchy topic at the moment because it is a question of ethics and morality. Also with the cloning of animals already accomplished it is only a matter of time before the first human could be cloned which the mere thought of scares people. However, cloning is a scientific breakthrough which inevitably will have a drastic effect on everyone in the world.

Unknown too much of the public, cloning has been going on for several decades now. However, it has recently become a hot topic since the emergence of Dolly, a sheep who was the first ever cloned mammal, but it has been researched since the 1950s. This is not known by everyone because it was not such a big deal because scientists were not as successful as they are today. Cloning experiments began in the year 1953 with a group of scientists in Cambridge, England. These scientists attempted to clone frogs. However, the success rate was only about nine percent, and of the ones that were successful they had many defects and abnormalities(Gurdon 27). Also around the early 1980s, another group of scientists began to attempt to clone mice. Like other scientists they had several problems doing so until 1983 when they successfully cloned a mouse. It was these scientists who paved the way for the animal experiments and set the scientists today down the right path for the research they are doing now.

The science of cloning could either be a medical miracle or a nightmare for the human race. Since scientists have gained the ability to clone cells and other simple structures they have progressed onto attempting to clone animals. This alone is a very high accomplishment but it has opened the options of cloning humans. Many people argue that cloning is an act of cruelty upon animals since it required 270 attempts to clone the first mammal, Dolly. All of these attempts resulted in the death of the animal because the clone was not properly developed and died. The problems with the clones were mainly that their organs had not fully developed or had not developed properly.

Dolly is the first ever cloned mammal. Dolly was created by the scientists at the Roslin, Institute in Edinburg, Scotland. The scientists first obtained genetic material from an ewe and then inserted the genetic material into a ?denucleated egg?and implanted it into a surrogate mother? who then gave birth to Dolly(www.vr-net.com/seercity/). Dolly came out to be exactly like the donor of the genetic material. This was a huge leap in the progress of animal cloning because Dolly was the first cloned mammal not to be cloned with defects. Dolly was a huge breakthrough in the field of animal cloning. Ian Wilmut, the head of the Roslin Institute, still remains cautious and claims: “We’ve no idea if this would work, and everyone involved thinks it would be unethical to try it in people. It’s illegal anyway, even though it makes a good science-fiction story” (www.vr-net.com/seercity/).

There are many benefits for humans that could come from animal cloning, but on the other hand, there also are many risks that we will be taking while cloning animals. Animal cloning could lead to improved food, medicine, as well as many other things. As for food, animal and plant cloning allows people to choose the exact traits and characteristics to create in the food source. This would improve the overall quantity as well as quality of food. This process is also much quicker and more reliable than manual breeding for the exact traits. Cloning of plant and animals could also be very beneficial because it could help produce more and better quality human necessities such as: materials used for clothing, shelter, and fuel. Another huge benefit of cloning is that it could help save endangered species. When a species is beginning to become endangered scientists could clone them in order to increase the population. Taiwanese scientist have actually already done this with an endangered species of pig(www.vr-net.com/seercity/). Another benefit of animal cloning is that scientists hope to use them as bio-reductors to grow human hormones, antibiotics, anesthesia, proteins, and other things as well. There is a farm in Framingham, Mass., that contains some animals that are:

transgenic animals; in other words, their genetic structure has been altered by human

intervention. Although the animals look and act like others of their species, they are

being genetically engineered to produce human proteins in their milk. Those proteins

include antithrombin III, which is used to prevent blood clotting, and alpha-1-antirypsin,

which prevents lung scarring in people whose bodies do not make enough of that protein

(Meade 20).

However, there is a negative side to animal and plant cloning too. Improving the quality of all things possible could turn out to be bad. This could lead too and overwhelming increase in population. Thus, the world could become plagued by overpopulation and the problems that come with overpopulation. Another major problem with cloning is that it changes evolution. Cloning could throw off the ever present process of natural selection. If things are cloned there will be a lack of diversity in the world. And what would the effects of that be? Another negative side effect of cloning could be an increase of diseases that are passed between animals and humans, an example of this would be mad cow disease(www.vr-net.com/seercity/).

One major issue dealing with cloning of any kind is ethics. Is it ethical to be manipulating nature in this way? There are many mixed opinions on this subject. Another major controversy dealing with cloning is the issue of morality. Many religious people have strong opinions against cloning. They feel it is particularly wrong to clone people. However, these same people do not all oppose the idea of cloning animals if it will help the human race.

The Christians(Roman Catholic and Protestant) are opposed to human cloning. The Jewish and Islamic people do not oppose it; but they stress caution and great care be taken with the use of cloning(www.kaiwan.com/~mcivr/clon21.html). But will animal cloning really benefit the human race?

Since the cloning of animals has been done, apparently scientist seem to heading towards the cloning of humans. However, President Clinton stopped this by banning the research of cloning humans. This is where I believe someone must draw the line. Other countries have reacted to cloning in similar ways. Also human cloning is illegal in England and in Norway. Animal cloning is one thing, but the cloning of humans is too dangerous to even attempt. I think like animal cloning, human cloning could be a very beneficial practice. However, this also could possibly be the downfall of the human race. The world could turn into a crazy science fiction movie or book. But who knows what would happen if human cloning is not properly used? I can?t even begin to imagine what the result would be if the use of cloning is not regulated and used in the right way.

The benefits of human cloning could prove to be miraculous though. Doctors could use clones to study sicknesses and to find cures for it. Also, human clones could be used to be organ donors. However, human cloning has not been accomplished yet, but it is possible that it could occur as soon as a year or as long as ten years. However, many people would rather that this does not happen because they are probably scared of the consequences that it would bring. According to a survey conducted by Time 74% of people believe that it is against God?s will to clone humans disease(www.vr-net.com/seercity/).

Personally I am afraid of what will happen when scientist obtain the ability to clone humans. As far as animal cloning goes I?m neutral because it will benefit humans but I?m not sure if we should be doing it. I?m not sure cloning of any type will be the best thing us. I feel that the cloning of humans should be outlawed because I don?t believe that humans should be attempting to manipulate nature in this way. President Clinton, I believe, is on the right track banning testing of human cloning. Hopefully people will abide by this ban because cloning could cause some serious problems and could come back and haunt us. This is a serious matter right here. I?m sure scientists are dying to find out what would happen, I personally am curious of clones would be like; however, I?d for safeties sake I?d rather not find out what happens with clones.

1. Kitcher, Phillip. ?Whose Self Is It, Anyway??

The Sciences May./June. 2000: B6.

3. Meade, Harry M. ?Dairy Gene.?

The Sciences May/June 2000: 20-25.

4.Gurdon, J.B. ?The Birth of Cloning.?

The Sciences, May/June 1997: 27-31.

5. Anonymous, ?One Giant Leap Into The Unknown.?

Online. Internet. 11 November 1997. Available:


6. Anonymous. Online. Internet.

11 June 2000. Available:


7. Anonymous. No title available.

Online. Internet. 12 June 2000. Available: www.kaiwan.com/~mcivr/clon21.html

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