English III pd. 1
2 March 2013
Human Cloning In July of 1996 scientists announced the birth of Dolly the cloned sheep. This event had brought humankind to another crossroads of scientific research and ethical concerns. Some scientists are concerned that a cloning ban would restrict research that would be potentially beneficial. Human therapeutic cloning is the same as reproductive cloning. Human therapeutic cloning could play an important role in regenerative medicine by providing embryonic stem cells for treatment that are derived from the patient’s own cells. Cloning could produce animals that possess a desirable genetic trait: for example, provide new clues to aging and cancer and can also assist in the development of new medications. In normal breeding, successive generations often lose the incorporated gene. The reasoning as to why cloning is beneficial is that if there is someone who is fatally sick and the only way to survive is if the received a transplant for an organ (“Human”). If there was not a donor available for transplant, the doctors could have the necessary organ cloned by taking DNA. Furthermore, if the nucleus is removed from an unfertilized egg and the cell is fused with a cell from an adult individual, the resulting cell will only have the nucleus from the genes of the adult individual that had donated a cell (“Human”). If the cell is implanted in the uterus of a surrogate mother, then the baby will be an exact copy of the donor of the cell “(Human)”. Cloning is r4eality in other species. Stem cell therapy is the revolutionary new way to treat disease and injury, by transplant of new cells able to repair damaged tissues or organs. With the creation of Dolly the cloned sheep, it demonstrated that the normal developmental process of cellular differentiation could be reversible, since differentiated cell can be converted into all of the other cell types that make up a whole animal (“Stem”). This suggests a radical new approach to the problem of tissue incompatibility (“Stem”). Perhaps in the near future, when cells would be needed to perform transplants, it could be possible to obtain them by collecting skin fibroblasts or other cells and allowing them to proliferate before being converted into the specific cell type needed for the disease being treated (“Stem”). When these cells were returned to the patients, they would not be rejected because they have the patient’s identical immune profile (“Stem”). At present, the only way to achieve such a transformation would be to collect human egg and incubate the resulting human embryo for six to seven days before recovery of pluripotent stem cells (“Stem”).
A clone is an exact genetic copy. Bacteria and plants can be cloned naturally, but animal cloning is much more tedious and challenging. When Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996, it showed that animal cells could be reprogrammed under certain experimental conditions, and achieving this in one mammalian species suggested cloning would be possible in others, including humans (“Human”). Human cloning can refer to either therapeutic cloning or reproductive cloning. Both can theoretically be achieved using the same technology, nuclear transfer, used to create other clones in other species (“Human”).
In human reproductive cloning, a process in which nuclear transfer would also be the first step, the goal would be to create an embryo that could develop to term rather than being harvested for its cells. As of 2011, there have been no scientifically verifiable cases off human reproductive cloning (“Human”). Genetic engineering is the alteration of the genetic material of living cells in order to make them capable of producing new substances or performing new functions. When the genetic material within the living cells is working properly, the human body can develop and function smoothly (“Genetic”). The effect can be dramatic: deformities, disease, and even death. In the past