Human Cloning Study Guide

This essay has a total of 1379 words and 7 pages.

Human Cloning

The biological definition of a clone is an organism that has the same genetic information
as another organism or organisms ("Cloning", 1997). Is cloning the gateway to the future
or the door to disaster? From this definition and from information about the science
behind cloning on cloning, it seems ethical. This statement ignores information about how
we can misuse cloning and what consequences occur when the procedure is unsuccessful.
Cloning should not be used until it is perfected. It is doubtful however that we will
allow cloning to be misused, and most people probably have this same opinion on cloning,
but their lack of knowledge on cloning, or their beliefs that cloning would be misused, is
the reason for the differences of opinion. Thus, an elaboration on the history,
techniques, ethics, and reasons for researching the technology of cloning is necessary.

The first thing that must be cleared up is what is cloning, and what is a clone. A clone
is an organism derived asexually from a single individual by cutting, bulbs, tubers,
fission, or parthenogenesis reproduction ("Cloning" 1997). Parthenogenesis unfertilized
ovum, seed or spore ("Parthenogenesis", 1997). Hence, cloning, biologically speaking, is
any process in which production of a clone is successful. Thus, the biological term is the
production of a genetically identical duplicate of an organism. However, people can use
the term cloning to intend other meanings. For instance, we generalize many older and new
techniques as cloning. This is not a good practice because these techniques are different
and impose unique concerns and issues.

In the world of scientific technology, cloning is the artificial production of organism
with the same genetic material. Scientists actually call the transferring of a nucleus
from the cell of one organism to an enucleated egg cell nuclear transfer ("Cloning" 1997).
This will produce an organism that has the exact genetic material as that of the donor
cell. Scientists are using current techniques exceedingly more, and with a variety of
species. Astonishingly, more clones are present in the world than one would think.

In nature, and even in the lives of humans, clones are present. As stated earlier, a clone
is an organism that has the same genetic information as another organism. From this we can
say that cloning occurs with all plants, some insects, algae, unicellular organisms that
conduct mitosis or binary fission, and occasionally by all multicellular organisms,
including humans. Monozygotic twins, or identical twins, are clones of each other. They
have the same exact genetic information due to the division of an embryo early in
development, which produces two identical embryos (Economist, 1997). About eight million
identical twins are alive in the world; thus, already eight million human clones inhabit
the earth. In unicellular organisms, a cell will produce two daughter cells that only have
the same genetic material.

Cloning of humans in a biological sense already has and is occurring. Scientists are
researching by splitting embryos to execute experiments to find data relating cell
differentiation, the use of stem cell, and genetic screening. Amazingly, genetic screening
is occurring in Britain quite often. Fertility clinics aim this service toward couples
where the mother or father has a genetic disorder. A fertility clinic will clone an
embryo, then test it for genetic disorders. If the embryo tests negative for genetic
disorders, then the fertility clinic implants a clone of that embryo. This should
guarantee that the child would not have genetic disorders.

That is the current work with cloning. It is becoming a part of our society already.
Cloning is currently a technology that many people could use. It is believed that it will
become more popular as prices for the technique decrease, and as the use of cloning
becomes increasingly popular. That is if we humans consider cloning acceptable technology,
and that we would like to use for the twenty- first century. Cloning has progressed so
quickly, few of us know if we should be even fooling with this once the pros outweigh the
cons. A good place for us to find that information is to look at the past and current
research results with cloning and why scientists research it.

Amazingly, the first attempts at artificial cloning were as early as the beginning of this
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