Should we clone





Should We Clone

Cloning is a scientific process that has miraculous potential to better humans and other species alike: however, the resounding negative repercussions far outweigh these potential benefits. Cloning is biologically defined as the construction of a special chromosome by somatic cell fusion, cytogenetic manipulation, or organelle introduction into cells by means of genetic microsurgery. (Funk & Wagnall¹s, 1) This process has been completed successfully although the accuracy, precision, and consistency are lacking. Even isolated experimentation of cloning on living species is dangerous. Anytime the natural rhythms of human life are disrupted in such a momentous manner, disastrous outcomes are bound to unfold. Cloning is an extremely powerful tool that carries extreme burdens, and, in order to properly convey this message, it is necessary to explain the techniques, history, ethics, and reasons of cloning.

Before continuing with processes or history, it is vital to understand two things: what cloning is and what is a clone. Cloning, in its simplest term, is the technique of producing a genetically identical duplicate of an organism. A clone is any descendant derived asexually form a single individual, as by cuttings, bulbs, fission, mitosis, or parthenogenesis reproduction. (Hoffman 78) There are clones that develop naturally everywhere you look. Bacteria, algae, unicellular organisms, fungi, invertebrates, and plants are all examples of clones. Even human beings clone in rare instances, in the form of what we call identical twins.

The history of cloning stretches much farther back than most people think. The first attempts at cloning have been documented back to the beginning of this century. Adolph Edward Driesch was the first scientist to experiment with this process. He was able to divide the egg of a sea urchin by shaking it in a test tube, which separated the egg, turning it into two dwarf sea urchins. Though Dreisch was able to conduct a simple cloning, he was never able to explain his findings and eventually gave up and switched his area of study to philosophy. In 1952, Robert Briggs and Thomas J* King, who were scientists in Philadelphia, were the first to implant a nucleus into an egg cell, using the nuclei of Leopard Frogs¹ eggs. Unfortunately the procedure was unsuccessful, but in the early 1970¹s Dr. John. Gurden successfully transferred the frog nuclei and was able to develop the frog¹s eggs into tadpoles.

Scientists announced in 1981 that they had transplanted mouse nuclei of embryos into mouse eggs: however, these findings were deemed fabricated after several other scientists tried and were unsuccessful. Other than the two findings described, few other experiments during this time period were successful, or even conducted. Most scientists of the late seventies and early eighties had determined cloning of embryonic mammal cells to be impossible.

These views were drastically changed in 1984 when Dr. Steene Willadson reported successfully transferring nuclei from a sheep embryo to produce clones. Following this success, Dr. Willadson went on to successfully clone cow and monkey embryos in the same manner. Developing upon Dr. Willadson¹s findings, in 1994 Dr. Neal First developed cows by nuclear transfer from much more developed embryos that had ever been previously used. His next historical feat was cloning and producing Megan and Morag, the first cloned sheep from embryo cells.

Chances are, the first thought that enters an individuals mind when discussing cloning is Dolly, the sheep that made headlines all over the world in 1997. Obviously, this was not the first cloning to ever take place, but what was momentous about Dolly was that they had cloned a mammal from an adult cell. Dr. Ian Wilmut and Dr. Keith Campbell did this, both embryologists in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two were able to clone dolly by placing the mammary cell of a sheep into an egg, then transplanting the developed embryo of the egg into a ewe, which acted as a surrogate mother. Six months later, on July 4, Dolly was born weighing fourteen pounds and perfectly healthy. This single event has been the foundation of debates for the last two years on the practicality, dangers, and ethics of scientifically cloning living species.

Having discussed the history and techniques of cloning, it is important to discover the uses cloning has on living species. There are many ways in which cloning could be used: better engineering