Cloning on Humans
Over my years here at college, I have learned a lot about humans and how our bodies function. One of the classes that really stuck out to me and caught my interest was genetics. I enjoyed learning about our DNA and how it worked in terms of reproduction. A topic that we covered during the course of this class was on cloning. I learned about the different types of cloning and when the focus on our in class discussions was on reproductive and therapeutic cloning, I became really interested in this subject.
Artificial cloning in general is a fairly new topic in the world of science and I first remember hearing about cloning in 1997 when Dolly the sheep was born. Now that I understand more about DNA and how the cloning process works, I’m interested in the future of cloning and where the research is going to take us. I only have a little bit of background knowledge about where cloning stands today and know that there has been many breakthroughs and benefits from it but in the back of my mind I’m concerned with how far scientists will take it and if there will be humans involved. As research goes further and more is learned about reproductive cloning, one question I wonder about is; should reproductive and therapeutic cloning be continued and one day be allowed to be used with humans?
I began my research on cloning with an article I found on using livestock and reproductive cloning to gain a more genetically superior and desirable animal. In the article titled “Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Livestock Development” the authors Chakravarthi and Balaji use reproductive cloning, which is the process on an entire organism being created from a single cell of a parent organism and having the exact same DNA, as a way to create a more enhanced population of livestock in a shorter period of time. When animals are reproduced in this way, desirable traits, like milk production and meat yield, can be selected over other non-desirable traits (Chakravarthi and Balaji 2010).
After reading this article, I began to see why science is pushing so hard to advance the process of reproductive cloning. Using this kind of reproduction with livestock is a quick way to increase yield and not only be more profitable for those raising these livestock, but also to cater to the increasing need of our fast growing population. Maybe one day reproductive cloning of livestock could be a way to end hunger for many people. Because of this reasoning, I think that the research on reproductive cloning for livestock should be continued so that it can be done in the most effective way possible.
Another article that I found on cloning with animals used pigs to help research regenerative medicine in humans. In the article “Advanced Pig Cloning Technologies Towards Application in Regenerative Medicine” doctor Nagashima along with a few of his colleagues did research on pigs that had been specifically designed through cloning and genetic modification for sophisticated research on regenerative medicine with human kidneys. A single cell from a pig’s kidney is taken and allowed to grow in a petri dish until it is stable enough to be implanted back into the pig to continue to full growth. The results were almost always successful and a new kidney, 100 percent identical to the previous one, now existed (Nagashima et. al 2012). Doctor Nagashima and his fellow doctors hope that this research will advance regenerative medicine in humans and allow for this process to work on those in need of new kidneys.
The process that doctor Nagashima uses with his pigs is a form of therapeutic cloning where only a certain organ is created from a single cell, not the entire organism. I think that therapeutic cloning in the sense from the previous article has great potential in the medical world if the research is continued and one day can be approved to be used with humans. There are so many patients in hospitals right...
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