Is Therapeutic Cloning Worth the Risk?
I. The history of cloning
A few years ago, a movie showed how Adolf Hitler could have been cloned to produce copies of himself. Of course, this is a terrible idea, because as we know, Hitler killed millions of people. Yet, people now have cloning that can benefit humankind. The events in the movie were imaginary, but during the 20th century, cloning became real. Cloning of plants and small animals has been practiced for a long time. The study of cloning starts with the theory which was proposed by zoology and comparative anatomy professors at the University of Freiberg in Germany in the 1880’s.The theory proposes that a cell’s genetic information will decrease progressively with each cell division. In 1901, the result of Hans Spemann’s 2-cell salamander experiment showed that the early embryos including all the genetic information were crucial for developing a new organism. The first recombinant DNA molecules were created in 1972. In 1994, nuclear transfer was invented by Willesden (History of cloning, n.d.). Until the cloning of Dolly, the development of DNA and gene technology was sluggish. After the birth of Dolly, a new way of looking at genetics was found, raising the possibilities of human cloning. Human cloning, on the other hand, had been thought of as a pipe dream or a work of fiction until Scottish scientist Dr. Ian Wilnot successfully cloned an adult sheep Dolly in 1997. The birth of Dolly represents a considerable scientific and technological breakthrough in the field of cloning because it proved that cloning of animals from adult cells was possible. Dolly also is the most significant milestone in the observation of DNA and genetics and greatly facilitated every aspect of biochemistry. However, the rapid development of human cloning has become a most controversial topic for debating the question of whether cloning should be legal or not.
II. Basic information about cloning
Cloning is a common misconception in science. The majority of people think that human cloning is immoral and unethical because of religious and humanitarian reasons; however, do most people really know what cloning is? Cloning is not what people see in the movies or what they read in science fiction. It is, according to Levine 2007 “as its most basic level, reproduction without sex”. Cloning, instead of using merging egg and sperm, relies on the genetic factors and DNA from a cell. The reason why cloning matters is that it has a huge effect on the future of the human lives. Animal cloning will bring a revolutionary change in food production in the future. For the human aspect, cloning technology also creates expectations in medicine and explores a new way in transplant therapies. Moreover, it opens door to potential genetic engineering and brand new aspects of cloning engineering; hence, cloning is important for scientific development in the coming years. There are two different types of cloning: reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. Just as its name implies, therapeutic cloning is designed as therapy for disease. Rather than creating a new individual by reproductive cloning stirring a large number of controversies, the cell which is created by therapeutic cloning can be transplanted into the patient in order to treat a disease. Therefore, therapeutic cloning has many benefits for society. Another phrase for therapeutic cloning is somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In practical human applications, the first step is extracting the nuclears involving completely genetic information for human beings from an egg; then, taking a somatic cell from patients who need a stem cell transplant to cure their disease. The somatic cell can be extracted from any body cell except those contained in eggs and sperm. The next step is that of inserting the nucleus, which comes from a patient’s somatic cell into the egg, from which a nucleus previously has...