Cloning: Cloning and Human Liver Cell Essay

Submitted By cringle
Words: 1367
Pages: 6

Draft 2

As people begin to recognize the potential of the stem cell, harvesting it and seizing its power is only natural. However, they are difficult to amass and gather them up into one place due to their unavailability during a human’s lifespan. Stem cells are mostly found in bone marrow in an adult. Outside of that, they are found within an embryo as well as inside an umbilical cord for a few days following birth. Over the last 30 years, stem cells have been cloned through a technique called somatic cell nucleic transfer (SCNT). This process involves removing the nucleus of an egg and replacing it with another nucleus from the mother. Since all nuclei contain the same genetic data, the offspring is considered a clone. Destruction of the following embryo yields pluripotent stem cells with the ability to transform into nearly any cell in the body. The single other technique to harvest is to induce pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) by reprogramming parts of the genetic code of a cell within the body. The change in the genetic makeup repurposes the cell from its original function to becoming a stem cell. Until recently, there have been many difficulties with this method as it was extremely inefficient due to the length being approximately 6 months to culture and transform the cells. In addition, a wrong change in the genetic makeup often resulted in the cell becoming cancerous, rendering the biologists to restart their progress with the cells with another makeup change. However, the changes to the genetic makeup were deciphered by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006, and he earned a Nobel Prize in science in 2012. Although growing the cells still takes approximately 6 months, compatibility with the host is guaranteed. This breakthrough allows diseases and malfunctions to be studied much more effectively, organs to be transplanted without rejection as well as drugs and toxins to be tested with safely. Artificially reproducing cells will unlock a massive gate towards understanding the complexity of life and ultimately towards curing all illness and disease. Work on cloning techniques such as somatic cell nuclear transfer and induced pluripotent stem cells are allowing us to increase our understanding on developmental biology. We can observe the short and naturally rarely occurring embryonic stage repeatedly and accurately. We can put several embryos each under separate environments and observe how they react and adapt to them. Studying these cells along with genetic manipulation has the potential to identify and answer many questions regarding developmental diseases. Cloning allows biologists to have a “reset button”, whenever anything doesn’t go according to plan. It also allows biologists to reproduce successes and advancements. By using induced pluripotent stem cells, we could heal many injuries that appear to be non-reversible. We could create organs outside the body to be inserted into said body, and the body would accept it due to having the very same DNA. The external organ would not be considered alien to the body, unlike an organ donated by a donor. This practice in medicine is called regenerative medicine. Although it isn’t practiced clinically, its research has been increased worldwide by an exponential amount in the last few years due to Yamanaka’s discovery. The potential from reverting or inducing a mature cell back into its differentiation stage which occurs in early pregnancies is truly a fantasy. In the long term, this discovery could lead to extending the lifespan of humans and mammals alike. It could be extended by replacing organs as they wear out from old age with younger and unblemished versions of itself. Many people are convinced that cloning is unethical and wrong because it has only worked by destroying many embryos and many potential lives in efforts to create a specific one. Dolly the sheep was the only embryo out of 277 to grow as a clone, and many people use that fact as their argument against cloning.