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Cloning Essay, Research Paper

Cloning is a shameless act of playing creator.

Introduction

Cloning is a relevant issue that has cause a major uproar not only in the field of science but also throughout the entire world. The world is in a bind deciding on the issue of cloning. The main question that is asked wonders if cloning should be considered humane. How can people benefit from cloning? Scientists like Joseph Millard are trying to show the many benefits of cloning and how the benefits can help out society today. Cloning does not just affect scientists. Cloning has created a political debate among politicians.

Cloning in Entertainment

We have seen comic material in the movies and on television. The entertainment industry usually shows it in a humorous situation such as Danny Devito and Arnold Schwannager as genetically engineered twins while Michael Keaton was duplicated to make his life easier. Cloning is only achieved after intensive research and experimentation where as in the movies; it is made out to be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Even though animal and human cloning has only been announced recently to the public, it has been around for the many decades, and is very beneficial

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to our future generations.History of Cloning

In 1938, a German scientist by the name of Hans Spemann came to the conclusion that organisms can, in fact, be reproduced. His belief was that by transplanting the central element of one animal’s cell into the egg of another animal, the animal could be reproduced, or “cloned”. Dr. Spemann believed that the central element or “nucleus” of a cell contained the genetic blueprint for the structure of the organism. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935 for his discovery of what he called the “organizer effect” (Spemenn 1999). After Spemenn’s discovery, there were two other tries to replicate what he did. The first was in 1952, when American scientists tried by infusing the nucleus of a frog’s embryo into a frog egg, but this attempt resulted in failure. In 1970, a British scientist repeated the same experiment. This attempt resulted in the development of some specimens, which died after reaching the tadpole stage. Over time, there have been many claims to cloning, but have all turned up as either frauds or they produced organisms that have died after a few days (Plutonium 1997).

Cloned Animals

There have been cases of cloning of several types of animals beginning in 1984. Embryonic animal cells were what clones were produced from in the past. Scientists have developed a new process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is performed using nature cells. This is the science that was used to produce Dolly in 1997(Reibstein 1997 ). It has been

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said that after 277 failures, Dolly was finally produced. The team of scientists who made Dolly

described that they removed cells from under the arm of an adult sheep, starved those cells from nutrients so they would enter a dormant state and then used an electrical charge to force the cell’s pores to open. The number of different eggs and cells that were fused together were 277. Of those 277 fused eggs, only 29 survived and were implanted into 13 ewes. These ewes were to act as the surrogate mothers. Of those 29, only one sheep embryo survived. This embryo was born on July of 1996 and was named Dolly (Reifstein 1997). This famous sheep was introduced to the public in February of 1997 and was named after the country music singer Dolly Parton.

Medical Uses

Not only have sheep been cloned, but also by using advanced genetic techniques, bioengineers have produced calves and intend to produce herds of cows that will produce drugs in their milk, these cattle will basically be living drug factories. This is called cattle farming. Cows carrying human genes have also been produced. The human cells cause these cows to produce milk that contains human proteins (Holy Cow 1983). Hemophiliacs in need of certain blood-clotting factors will receive them by simply drinking a glass of this milk. Another herd will produce milk-containing proteins for infants that can not nurse. Even more research is being done for cattle to produce milk that will be beneficial for emphysema and fibrosis suffers. A cattle breeder wishing to clone the best breeding stock can have a cloned herd, fatten them, and them have them slaughtered for beef. This process is called selective breeding.

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What else can be Cloned

Plants as well as animals can be cloned. The main difference in these two procedures is that for the past 2000 years, we have been forcing the plants to reproduce by methods of grafting and stem cutting. The main goal is to clone plants that will be superior to those plants that occur naturally. Scientists hope that these new, genetically altered plants will be more resistant to insects, viruses and bacteria with improved nutritional qualities and longer lives. This would not only benefit man, but a lot of plants are also used in the production of medicine (Clone and Cloning 1995).

Cloning for Medical Purposes

Animal cloning would also allow an effective study of human genetic diseases such as systic fibrosis and Down’s Syndrome. It can even put an end to the shortage of human transplant organs by the use of trangenetic animals. These animals have been genetically altered to that their organs would be partially made up of human material (Reibstein and Reals1997). This method would once again bring the rights of animals into concern. A lot of controversy could arise in raising animals solely to produce drugs, experiment on or take organs from. Scientists feel that it may be possible to “reprogram” skin or blood cells so that they will grow into “spare parts” of tissues and organs rather than whole organisms but this would be many years into the making.

Diseases to Cure

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Many of these methods will not be practical in the near future but there are other cloning

methods that can help those that are already alive. It can help in developing new treatments for disease, cure disease, and save lives. One disease that cloning would hopefully help would be Parkinson’s Disease, which is a disease of the nervous system. Scientists could manipulate cells to grow into healthy brain cells (Cloning 1997).

Cloning can be Useful

Still another use is growing organs and/or tissues for humans. Cells can be manipulated to revert to their embryonic stage and then these cells will have the potential to grow into other tissues, cells, etc. This is done through chemical signals called fibroblast growth factors. These signals “tell” the cells what to do. These same chemical signals are also used on embryos. The fibroblast growth factors tell the cells what to become. Hans Spemann found the organizer effect, which is how the embryonic cells are aligned. The organizer effect shows that “the anterior parts of the cell tend to produce the parts of the head and the posterior parts of it parts of the tail or bottom. (Biography of Hans Spemann 1999).

Advantages of Cloning

By producing organs/tissues genetically identical to that a patient, there would be less risk of rejection and the patient would be spared from the need to take heavy medication that suppresses the immune system. Transplant patients would benefit the most from this because there are not anywhere near enough organ donors for those who need the organs. On top of that,

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the patients then have to wait and see if the organ is the right size and if the body will reject the

organ. Human bodies attack what is not genetically alike to the specific body; thus, transplant organs are rejected at times even with the medication that tries to suppress this action. Another technique of transfer cloning obtains healthy adult cells and reprogram them “so that they are embryonic and have the potential to grow into any type of tissue.” (”Potential uses in Research 1998) This method could be used to produce stem cells, which are undifferentiated or

unspecialized, capable of being any tissue/organ. Stem cells could be used to replace the area of damaged nerve tissues, which does not regenerate. This process can also be used to grow organs for those who need them or even bone marrow. According to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, this is a “far more desirable” technique of cloning because embryos are not used, however, they also feel that this is a highly speculative technique. (Cloning Human Beings 1994)

Helpful for Everyone

Gene cloning can be used to produce vaccines and hormones, it already has led to the inexpensive production of insulin for diabetes and of growth hormones for children who do not produce enough hormones for normal growth. Monoclonal antibodies used the immune system to fight off disease could be injected into the blood system where it would seek out and attack a tracer element to the cloned antibody that would be able to locate hidden cancers in the body. They would attach cancer fighting drugs to the tracer and the treatment dose could be transported directly to the cancer cells (Clone 1995).

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New Discoveries

Other recent discoveries in genetics have led to the hope of eventually being able to rewire several spinal cord nerves. Investigations of this theory have included gene study on worms, fruit flies, rats and humans. Hopefully be gaining more information on how growing nerves are guided will make it possible in the future to manipulate their growth and allow the repair of severed nerves in the spinal cord (Human Cloning in the Future 1997 ). Cloning research could make a large difference in the quality of life for a large number of people. It

would not have to be used to clone humans themselves.

Cloning Helps Fight Cancer

According to the Human Cloning Foundation, this process can help people with genetic problems; those who have a high risk for Down’s Syndrome can avoid that risk by cloning. In the future we may be able to make livers for liver transplants, and kidneys for kidney transplants. We should be able to create bone marrow for children and adults who are suffering from leukemia, and we may learn how to switch cells on and off through cloning and thus be able to cure cancer. Thus, before an artificially fertilized embryo is implanted a cell from the embryo, it could be cloned and analyzed for genes that cause diseases. This way an embryo with the highest chance of good health and survival could be selected for implantation.

What God Says

The very first verse of the Holy Bible, Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created

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the heavens and the earth.” Genesis goes on to tell us that God created abundance of animals and

in verse 27 we are told that God created man. Religious people believe that this is the only way that man should be created and oppose cloning. In February of 1997, Time and CNN conducted a poll that revealed that 93% of Americans disapproved of human cloning, 74% felt that would be against God’s will. In Genesis 1:28 (Holy Bible), God told Man to have dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth.

The Pope’s Stance on Cloning

As stated in the Holy Bible, God created all living things. It is against our beliefs as

practicing Christians to look down upon cloning. Our Creator does not want us to create possible human life. There are many questions that would arrive if a human being was cloned. One of the many questions would be if the cloned body would have a soul. The answer would be no. Only God can give human beings souls. Cloning is wrong because we would be cloning a human and creating a different species that is not a human.

Should Cloning be Banned

Although a ban on the cloning of humans may be desirable to some, scientists argue that a ban would limit scientific research that could benefit humans. In an effort to provide an alternative to a total ban, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared it illegal to clone humans without FDA approval. This would prevent the cloning of human beings but would allow scientific research to continue. Researches that will allow scientists to further study the

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process and benefits of cloning. The filed of genetics has advanced by leaps and bounds. Cloning

has gone from cutting plant stems to produce new plants to cloning frogs. Since then, a huge leap was made in the production of the sheep Dolly.

How Do We Decide

How can the people of the society that we live in come up with a possible answer that we benefit everyone involved in the cloning aspect. There is no answer so far. “There is not a moral answer that can take all of the advantages of cloning and leave out all of the negative aspects. No matter how we do finally decide on the future of cloning people are going to be upset. We are talking about creating new life that can alter the field of science and technology to a new level.

This is life. No one gets everything that they want. We must leave with what has been given to

us.” (Yount page 1997)

Ways to Escape

No matter what the ruling will be on cloning in the future, it will always be present with us. The lingering question in everyone’s mind will be “What if?” What would happen to the world if we did allow scientists to clone anything and everything, if we allowed them to only clone animals, or if we did not let them clone anything. There are always going to be scientists how are going to clone a human in the future. Laws can only go so far. Other countries will find a loop hole to be the first in the world to clone a human being. Cloning will be around for the rest of our lives. Why should we waste the knowledge that we might gain from cloning. The

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question will stand till the end of time. Should human beings be cloned?

Conclusion

Cloning will be around with us for generations to come. There is no end to the cloning era. The curiosity of humans will not allow us to give up on the idea of cloning. One can only imagine what can come from cloning. The mystery will never be solved. Who knows what the government can do with all of the technology these days. It is scary to think of what could and will happen.

Entertainment Wrap Up

Actor, Robin Williams posed this question at a recent benefit honoring Christopher Reeve (Christopher Reeve, ABC). Cloning is one of his hopes for the future of spinal cord repair.

Reeves’ most famous role was that of Superman who was faster than a speeding bullet, more

powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. A few seconds of time changed an active, physically fit man into a quadriplegic dependent on a respirator to breathe. In our imaginations cloning might be the stuff of science fiction but in reality anything can happen. An army of Hitlers taking over the world, giving birth to a new generation of a super race. There are to many possibilities out there that could happen with cloning. Bodies could be stored in freezers waiting to be used or having a headless clone just hanging around waiting for me to harvest body parts as needed. If cloning were to happen there would need to be responsible and sensible guidelines implemented. Genetic scientists have approached cloning

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with caution and to follow a moral code of conduct and wise judgement. As they make

advancements in genetics, we will see diseases cured, the sickly returned to good health, formerly childless couples playing with their children and maybe, just maybe, Superman will fly again.

Works Cited

Yount, Lisa. “Issues in Biomedical Ethics” Lucent Books 1998.

Yount, Lisa “Genetics and Genetic Engineering” Facts on File 1997.

“Biomedical Ethics: Opposing Viewpoints” Greenhaven Press Inc. 1998.

“Christopher Reeve: A Celebration of Hope.” ABC. WVEC. O1 March 1998.

“Clone and cloning.” Gale Encyclopedia of Science, Vol.2: 832+.

Editor: Bridget Travers. 1995.

“Cloning.” Issues and Controversies on File. 18 Apr. 1997:153+.

Holy Bible. New King James Version. New York: Thomas Nelson P.

1984.

“Holy Cow! Cloning may help develop amazing drugs through milk.”

The Virginian Pilot 21 Jan. 1998: A3.

“Human Cloning in the Future.” Issues and Controversies on File 18

Apr. 1997: 159-160.

Reibstein, Larry and Gregory Reals. “A Cloned Chop, anyone?” Newsweek

10 March 1997:58.

1997 Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine to Dr. Wilmut and Team

Archimedes Plutonium 7 Mar 1997 19:55:19 GMT Organization: Plutonium College http://earthops.org/cloning_history.html

“Cloning Human Beings.” National Bioethics Advisory Commission

Volume II: Report and Recommendations, Commissioned Papers, Rockville, Maryland: Government A7-A9.

“Potential Uses in Research” UK New. 980. 30 January 1998 n. page. Online. Internet.

26 February 1998. http://www/telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=00064…atmo=9999999&pg=et/98/1/30/nclo130.html.

“Biography of Hans Spemann” Online. Internet. The Nobel Foundation.

1 November 1999

http://www.nobel.se/laureates/medicine-1935-1-bio.html

Human Cloning Foundation. The benefits of human cloning.

http://www.humancloning.org

http://www.nobel.se/laureates/medicine-1935-1-bio.html)


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