Human Cloning

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Human Cloning

Doctor Jerome Kassirer once said, “I’m willing to hold off completely on any kind of human cloning, but I’m not willing to hold off on research that could yield enormous therapeutic benefit.” Human cloning is a controversial topic in science and medicine. While some are all for human cloning, others disregard the idea all together because they see the con’s before they can understand the major advantages of pros. But what exactly is human cloning? Human cloning is the coping of the genetic identity of a human being for therapeutic or reproductive use. In this paper we will thoroughly discuss the types of human cloning, their advantages and disadvantages, and why the cloning of humans for therapeutic use should be prohibited, but the use of cloning for reproductive purposes should be banned. Though the topic of human cloning seems to be a new innovation to scientific research, studies have dated back to the 1960’s. Nobel Prize winner Joshua Lederberg wrote a column in the “Washington Post” solely on the topic of cloning and human genetics in 1966. Lederberg’s article sparked many debates about whether or not human cloning was acceptable. The article especially brought attention to bioethicist Leon Kass who found human genetic cloning unmoral by stating “the programmed reproduction of man will, in fact, dehumanize him” (Logston). Genetic cloning took a turn to running tests on animals. In 1977, a German scientist made the claim that he had cloned three mice from embryos. Several previous tests had been run previously on mice by different scientists but no one was ever successful because the mice embryo was so small and the lab tools were so much bigger that the cells were often damaged. The scientist was asked several times to demonstrate his actual procedure to cloning the mice but he would never physically perform it. Just when the world of cloning seemed to be at a stand-still, a new discovery came about. Previous scientists had tried to genetically clone animals and time after time failed. In 1986 Ian Wilmut was appointed to a cloning project at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. His assignment was to create a sheep that could produce a specific type of chemical in the milk it produced. Wilmut’s procedure plan was to alter the sheep’s adult cells so that they would be able to withstand the conditions of the lab and then clone the cells. Wilmut spent four years planning the procedure to this mammal cloning and put his plan to work in 1990. Wilmut and his team learned that the reason why so many cloning attempts had failed was because the cells did not have compatible stages of life. He concluded that the cells could not always start over, meaning the ones the cells had copied once, and they stopped producing more cells. They found that the reason why the cells were not growing was because they were being forced into the G0 phase, which is when the cells become dormant and is neither preparing to divide nor dividing at all. Wilmut and his team cloned the cells of two lambs, Megan and Morag from sheep embryos. On July 5, 1996, a lamb named Dolly (named after Dolly Parton) was born from a cloned frozen mammary cell. Dolly was indeed the first mammal to successfully be cloned. She lived to the age of six years old, ending her life on February 14, 2003 from lung disease and crippling arthritis. Dolly’s success was indeed remarkable, because it proved that the coping of an adult cell could create a new organism, thus changing the genetic cloning race forever. As you can see the history of cloning has been through many travesties and a process, but there are pros and cons with therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Medicine.net defines “therapeutic cloning as a procedure in which cells; typically skin cells are taken from a patient and inserted into a fertilized egg whose nucleus has been removed.” The cell created is then permitted to divide repeatedly to form a blast cyst....
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