Class: Science and Society SC/SO 137
Teacher: Laurence E. Heglar, Ph.D.
ANIMAL CLONING: SHOULD BE USED AND PRACTICED TO HELP THE HUMAN NATURE
In biology, cloning is the generation of an organism, or even a single cell, with the same genetic material (DNA) of another organism. The process of cloning a plant is relatively simple compared to cloning an animal or a human being. When two animals reproduce and an offspring is born, their genes are a mixture between the DNA of the male and the female. Being a mixture of the two DNAs the offspring cannot be considered as a clone. Nowadays, however, advanced special techniques make it possible to withdraw the DNA from a mother's egg cell's and replace it with the DNA extracted from a cell of the individual to be cloned. The male or female donor and the relevant offspring will therefore have the exact same genetic material.
There are three different types of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. Gene cloning produces copies of genes or segments of DNA. Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals. Therapeutic cloning produces embryonic stem cells for experiments. Gene cloning- also known as DNA cloning- is a very different process from reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Reproductive and therapeutic cloning shares many of the same techniques, but are done for different purposes.
Since the birth of Dolly - the first mammal to be cloned- animal cloning is a subject of ethical debates. Whether to use animals for research or new business applications or not is a controversial issue. This study will analyze in details cloning by sketching out a brief history of the cloning of animals. By illustrating the latest news and discovery of the field I will then draw my conclusions on whether cloning should be used and practiced to help the human nature or not.
The history of animals' cloning: Timeline Of Animal Cloning
February 1997 -- Scotland's Roslin Institute announces of sheep Dolly from cells taken from an adult ewe. Dolly, was the first animal ever cloned using such a process. Previous cloning had involved creating an animal from undeveloped fetal cells in a surrogate mother.
August 1997 -- The U.S.-based cattle-breeding company ABS announces the cloning of a calf from stem cells removed from a cow fetus.
July 1998 -- The University of Hawaii announces the successful cloning of dozens of mice.
August 2000 -- U.S.-based biotech firm BioTransplant Inc. and Massachusetts General Hospital announce the cloning of a line of miniature pigs, to be used to grow organs for human transplants.
February 2002 -- Researchers at Texas A&M University announce they successfully cloned a domestic cat in late 2001. The cat, whose birth was later confirmed, was named "cc:".
March 2002 -- French scientists announce the first clones of rabbits from adult cells.
May 2003 -- Scientists in Idaho announce they have cloned a mule, a sterile hybrid normally produced by breeding a donkey and a horse. There have been several other projects in the area involving equine cloning.
February 2004 -- South Korean researchers clone human embryos and extract their stem cells.
August 2005 -- South Korean scientists say they've cloned the first dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.
Therapeutic cloning consists of producing embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased ones.
Stem cells extracted from cloned monkey embryos
Scientist Ian Wilmut, best known for having cloned Dolly (the first animal cloned from an adult cell), decided to cease all research on human embryos cloning, to pursue a new technique that allows the creation of a rival cell stem cells without using embryos. Scientists in Oregon have spread the news that they have created the first cloned monkey's embryo from which...