Modern Medical Science

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MODERN MEDICAL SCIENCE

There are five key questions about modern medical science, they are cloning, transplants, a cure for cancer and AIDS, medical innovations and implanted computer chips into a human brain. So, I’ll start with cloning. Cloning is “making a copy of a plant or animal by taking a cell from it and developing artificially”. There is nothing new about this – plants were cloned in Ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago, and the first cloned frog appeared in 1968. But interest in cloning grew in 1997 when Dr Ian Wilmut and his colleagues from Edinburgh University announced the birth of the world’s first cloned sheep, Dolly (some people pointed out that since all sheep look identical anyway, how could anyone tell?). However, many people worried: what if the same techniques were used for some rich, elderly person to reinvent himself; or if an evil dictator produced hundreds of copies of himself in order to take over the world; or grieving relatives used cloning to bring their loved ones back to life? The truth is that there is no chance that any copy of a human being would be identical either physically or mentally, any more than children are identical to their parents. The possible benefits of cloning, however, are numerous, for artificially producing human tissues and organs for transplant, and for preserving endangered animal species. Biologists have already genetically engineered headless frogs so it may in future be possible to clone headless humans whose organs could be used for transplants. But would we want to? In one famous case, a British girl born with a rare bone condition that left her with only one ear, had a new one grown for her at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the USA. By taking cells from her existing ear and transplanting them onto the back of a mouse, scientists grew her another one, which could then be transplanted back. American scientists have also used sheep blood cells to make a universal blood which...
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