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Cloning Technology Essay, Research Paper

Cloning can be a very sensitive subject. It seems that it?s a battle between

science and ethics. Does the ladder outweigh the former or vice versa? Maybe a

few definitions will shed some light on the subject. ?Cloning is to create a

genetic duplicate of an individual organism through asexual reproduction, as by

stimulating a single cell? (Webster?s 211). ?Parthenogenesis is reproduction of

organisms without conjunction of gametes of opposite sexes.? (Webster?s 800).

Cloning has its medical uses, but do the ethical implications outweigh the


The goal of genetic engineering is that every child be born strong,

healthy, and well suited to make its way to the world. If genetic engineering

would be used in this way the world would probably be a place of less disease.

Sure it may be unethical to do some tests on humans, but without them medical

progress would come to a halt. Cloning might also directly offer a way of

curing diseases or a technique that could extend means to acquiring new data for

the sciences of embryology and how organisms develop as a whole over time.

Science has been trying for years to come up with cures for genetic diseases and

so far haven?t really come up with anything that is truly helpful. On the other

hand, with the technology of genetic engineering scientists may finally be able

to start to understand the causes of diseases and to develop possible treatments

and even prevention. For instance, the most studied disease is Cystic Fibrosis.

Although, we have not found a cure yet, science !

might be getting close to coming up with a way of preventing Cystic Fibrosis.

Science has made some major discoveries in the past forty years. In the

1960?s two French scientists by the names of Jacques Monod and Francois Jacob

showed that genes can be turned on and off by what are called regulator genes.

If it were possible to manipulate the regulator genes, than it would be possible

to turn Cancer cells off and prevent it. It is expected that 185,000 people

will be diagnosed with a brain tumor alone in 2000. That?s just brain Cancer,

imagine how many lives would be saved if all Cancer cells could be turned off.

Cloning isn?t just an advantage to the medical field. It would provide a

link for a replacement to artificial insemination. Couples, who are unable to

have children, or have genetic disorders, could use cloning to produce a child.

Plus, women who are single could have a child using cloning instead of

artificial insemination.

Natural cloning occurs too. All plants, some insects, algae, unicellular

organisms that conduct mitosis or binary fissions, and identical twins are all

clones of each other. As long as genetic make-up is the same they are clones,

and a splitting embryo that creates two identical embryos produces twins. The

difference between twins and clones, however, is that twins are new in genetic

variation and unique from anything that came before them. Even if clones don?t

have genetic variation they would closely resemble identical twins and more than

likely would be accepted by the world as twins would. After all, there are some

eight million identical twins alive today, so it is safe to say that about eight

million ?human clones? are alive today. Plus, who is to differentiate between a

clone and an identical twin? The world isn?t going to be able to distinguish

between the two anyway.

Cloning is going to continue to be the subject of books, television

shows, and movies. It has already been featured numerous times on the Discovery

Channel and TLC. Dolly, the cloned sheep, was featured on the news for about

four weeks. It is easy to get carried away and start thinking about what

cloning will do to our future. However, it?s better to stop fantasizing about

how human clones are going to take over the job market, but to look at what

cloning has already done.

Thus far only the advantages of cloning have been described. It is only

fair to know that cloning possesses some bad aspects as well. In case one

didn?t know already genes are the basic units of inheritance. They are what

make a plant, an animal, or a human being resemble its parents. Clones are

carbon copies. They have the genetic information of only one parent. There is

no mixing of genes with the chance of change. Therefore, clones would be

deprived of a feeling of individuality and uniqueness. At least with natural

reproduction genetic variation occurs and makes every person an individual.

Without genetic variation everyone would be exactly the same and the world would

be boring.

Not only will it erase individuality, which is almost bad enough in it,

but also it

will also eliminate the ?bad genes? and lead to dangerous narrowing of diversity

in the

gene pool. What does that mean? It means that if everyone is cloned over and

over again

off the same genes, there is a bigger chance of a mutated gene being prominent

and then

there would be no way to get rid of it. This is the main reason that science is

reluctant to

clone humans. So, what happens when we decline genetic diversity and the gene


and we lose the ability to clone? Well, that?s simple we resort to a little

process known as

inbreeding. Inbreeding also increases the chance of transmitting mutated genes.

In fact,

zoologists and environmentalists trying to save endangered species are not


problems keeping population numbers up, but finding animals to breed that are



Most scientists believe that cloning would create deformed or otherwise


babies. For instance, some of the lambs produced by cloning before Dolly were

larger than normal. It is very likely that defects would arise indeed for no

other reason

than the fact that the ability isn?t good enough to clone humans. ?The nucleus

of a skin cell could have accumulated many genetic mistakes of no consequence to


role in the skin, but when asked to make a brand new organism these could prove

deleterious in other tissues, or greatly increase the probability of developing


(Beddington np).

Now that the advantages and disadvantages have been expressed the author

feels that an example of the processes of cloning would be appropriate. The

first example is the cloning of a frog.

1. The nucleus is removed from a frog egg. It is now called an enucleated egg.

2. A section of intestine is taken from a tadpole.

3. A cell from that intestinal tissue is taken and its nucleus removed.

4. The nucleus from the tadpole cell is put into the enucleated frog egg.

5. The egg, with its new nucleus, begins to divide and develop into a tadpole

and then an adult frog. The frog?s genes are exactly like those of the tadpole

because its instructions came only from the nucleus of the tadpole. The frog is

a clone.

The next example of how cloning may be used is a cow embryo being

shipped in the uterus of a rabbit.

1. Eggs are taken from a cow.

2. They are fertilized in a laboratory dish and begin to grow in the nutrient


3. When they reach the hollow ball or blastula stage, each embryo is placed in a

rabbit uterus.

4. The rabbit is shipped to another country…

5…and the embryo taken from the rabbit and replaced in the uterus of a cow.

Thus far, the paper has listed the medical uses and ethical

implications for cloning. Plus, an added bonus of processes in which cloning has

been successful. Now, most people probably already have strong opinions about

cloning and maybe this paper gave readers something on which to base their

opinions. The goal of this paper wasn?t to convince the reader of cloning being

advantageous or not, but instead to help people realize that the world is in

store for some major technological advances and everyone must be prepared to

deal with controversial issues such as the one presented above. If one is not

able to deal with change then technology is just going to leave them behind.

Like it or not technology is not going to stop progressing, so the world is

going to have to learn to accept what is happening.

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