Paper on Genetic Cloning

This essay has a total of 1959 words and 9 pages.

Genetic Cloning

On the approach to the second millennia, ‘cloning' and the ability to manipulate and
modify DNA has increased immensely. The field of genetic reproduction is creating a
variety of unknown social and ethical consequences that are particular to our present
time. Such consequences, although unknown now, of the manipulation of nature at such a
primary biological level will have disastrous effects on the generations of the future.
Cloning as a new science, concerns itself with the replication of organisms through
asexual scientific method creating exact replications of the parent cell. However, cloning
in the 90s has developed to the point where manipulation of human D.N.A is a very real
prospect and many issues surrounding it must be addressed. These issues and the positive
and negative influences on our society will be discussed herein, concentrating on
selective breeding, genetic engineering, the identity of ‘clones', enhanced cell growth
products and production of spare body parts.

Firstly, selective breeding throughout the ages has served humanity in many ways. The
origins of cloning lie in the agricultural history of humanity. Therefore the perceived
gap between cloning and our nature are not so distant, as cloning has been the means by
which humankind has cultivated flora for a millennia. In addition, selective breeding has
been the means by which humankind has manipulated fauna for its own ends. In both cases
genetic manipulation does serve humanity on many practical levels.

Secondly, humankind has genetically engineered many species through selective breeding.
The potential of cloning in food production is, if not unclear, certainly unknown to most
people. Selective breeding of flora and fauna has continued for eons. Only breeds of
preference have been maintained as useful for humankind. The word ‘clone' finds its
origins in ancient Greek. ‘Klone' (Kreb, 1985 p.164) defined simply in Greek means
‘twig', a twig that you could place in the ground and the parent plant would be
reproduced, better known now as ‘propagation'. Propagation has long been under the
influence of genetic engineering in the form of selective breeding. An example of this is
barking dogs, it is well known that wild dogs do not bark as such, they howl and growl,
domestic dogs on the other hand have been bred to bark, hence barking dogs have been
preferable to humankind as they alert the coming of strangers. Today barking dogs have
become unpreferable as the density of human population increases, so the requirement for
dogs to warn and bark has become obsolete. Here it can be seen that the consequences of
manipulating nature for our own uses are insidious if not unnecessary.

Genetically engineered food products have caused a recent grand reaction of protest in
Europe, as many farming communities there have refused to use imported genetically
modified food crops that have been developed in America. From cows to potatoes almost all
primary food markets have been affected by genetic engineering. America, endorsing such
altered flora products does so in the name of conquesting world hunger. Although the
evidence of genetically modified food crops, saving the world is scarce especially in
third world countries. Ideally, the social potential for genetically modified food
products is enormous as the problems of overpopulation can be addressed effectively if the
access to such technology is truly made available to the people of the world.

Human manipulation of fauna is a precarious field where outcomes are unknown.
In more recent developments in the field of ‘cloning' the case of ‘Dolly', the
genetically cloned sheep in the UK in 1997, evidence since of unknown problems have come
to light. Recent scientific analysis (McCall, Yahoo.1999) has shown that the complex
outcomes of the manipulation of fauna directly, are totally unpredictable. ‘Dolly' was
cloned three years ago and has apparently developed successfully, until close analysis has
shown that in fact dolly has the genetic age and activity of a nine year old sheep. This
is because she was cloned from a three year old, survived and grew for three years which
totally accumulated to an increase in development which has set back the research into
genetically modified fauna quite abit. These new problems reflect the general resilience
that nature asserts over any attempt to coerce the nature of the native environment. As
much as they were counting on lamb, they are left with mutton.

Typically humankind have dislocated themselves as a part of nature in this age.
Genetically engineered flora is not considered as an ethical issue nor is manipulating
fauna, whereas when dealing with humankind we are faced with ethical dilemmas, which are
only evident when considering ourselves. Humanity has classically perceived over time that
it has a place in changing nature as we know it (W. Blake) "where man is not nature is
barren" though unfortunately we cannot consider ourselves in the same league as all other
flora and fauna although we should. If we are to work with nature we ought to aspire to
become a part of nature, and be under the rule, we as a species have extended to the rest
of nature.

The ethical impact of the use of cloning in the medical industry creates profound dilemmas
regarding the presence of the unique ‘soul' or if the nurtured individual is a simple
product of social reproduction. To create replications of individuals biology for
whichever end brings rise to the question of identity, where identity is applicable as in
human clones or would the cloned individual seek the life of their genetic donor or would
he/she assert an individual personality separate from the biology. The ethical issues
surrounding the research are profound, for example as rights to life activist declare that
the use of human embryos in scientific research is unacceptable and no particular unified
legislation has clarified the limits or the potentials possible to explore this field. As
the consequences of manipulating nature within ourselves has caused problems previously it
would be most likely that a natural unknown reaction would eventually strike back at
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