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The History of Cloning

Jan 24, 2000 2513 Words
The theory of being able to
make a genetic copy (a clone) of another animal
has been around for quite a while. In this section
as the title reads I will show the history of cloning.
400 million years B. C.- Plants have been cloning
themselves since not to long (as far as the Earth is
concerned) after their introduction to our planet.
They send out runners that create an identical
copy of the parent plant. 1938- Hans Spermann,
of Germany, envisions what he calls the "fantastical
experiment". He suggests taking the nucleus from a
cell in the late-stage embryo and transplanting that
nucleus into an egg. 1952- Scientists Robert
Briggs and T.J. King use a pipette to suck the
nucleus from the cell of an advanced frog embryo,
they then add it to a frog egg. The egg didn't
develop. 1970- John Gurdon tries the same
experiment with the same procedure. The eggs
developed into tadpoles but died after they were
ready to begin feeding. He later showed that
transplanted nuclei revert to an embryonic state.
1973- Ian Wilmut just finishes his doctorate at
Cambridge University when he produces the first
calf born from a frozen embryo. Cows only give
birth to five to ten calves in a lifetime. By taking
frozen embryos produced by cows that provide
the best meat or milk then transferring that to
surrogate mother it allows cattle farmers increase
the quality of their herd. Mid to late 1970's-
Scientists cut down small forests publishing
research papers arguing the ethics of cloning and if
it can be done. While they do this other researches
around the world are actually investigating if it can
be done. 1981- Karl Illmensee and Peter Hoppe
report that they clone normal mice and embryo
cells. It is later found to be a fraud. 1982- James
McGrath and Davor Solter report that they can
not repeat the mouse cloning experiment. They
conclude that once mouse embryos reach the two
cell stage they cannot be used for cloning. Others
confirm their results. 1993- Embryologists at
George Washington University cloned human
embryos: they took cell groups from 17 human
embryos (defective ones that an infertility clinic
was going to discard), all two to eight cells in size.
They teased apart cells , grew each one in a lab
dish and a few got to 32 cells- a size when they
can be planted into a surrogate mother, although
they weren't. 1994- Neal First cloned calves that
have grown to 120 cells. 1996- Ian Wilmut
repeated First's experiment with sheep but put
embryo cells into a resting state before transferring
their nuclei to sheep eggs. The eggs developed
into normal embryos then into lambs. 1997- Ian
Wilmut and his colleague Keith Campbell clone an
adult sheep. Different Methods: Of Cloning The
most famous sheep in history, Dolly, was cloned
by using the method of Nuclear transfer.
Previously the only cloning was either done on
plants or frogs or mice. In this section the different
processes will be described. PLANT CLONING
Gardeners have been cloning plants for centuries
and plants have been doing it for longer. Here are
three different types of cloning out of many. One
type of plant cloning naturally occurs when a plant
grows a runner. The runner grows horizontally
across the ground forming a carbon copy of that
same plant at the end. Eventually the runner dies
and the daughter plant is separated from the
mother plant. Another is when you cut a branch or
leaf off of a plant and plant it. It will grow another
identical plant. That method is called a cutting. A
stolon is where a weak branch of a plant falls over
and the tip touches the ground. The tip swells and
roots are formed so that growth in the plant can
continue. ANIMAL CLONING Lower forms of
animals clone themselves quite often like amoeba's
and paramecium which use binary fission to split
themselves in half and create a new but identical
animal. The only other kind of cloning in animals is
nuclear transfer cloning. Which is the whole topic
of this report. Nuclear transfer is when the nucleus
of one cell is implanted into another cell that has
had the nucleus taken out. The first time this
happened was when Robert Briggs and T.J. King
took the nucleus out of a multi-cell embryo and
implanted it into the egg. Cell division then takes
place and forms into a tadpole then into a frog.
This process has been repeated with mice, sheep,
monkey's, etc. That is called embryonic cloning.
The kind of cloning that created Dolly is when an
adult animal is cloned. What happened in Dolly's
case is that Ian Willmut and his team of scientists
took a nucleus from a Finn Dorset sheep and
substituted it with a nucleus of an egg from a Poll
Dorset. Once the egg had developed to embryo
stage it was implanted into a third breed of sheep
a Scottish Blackface. Dolly came out 148 days
later as an exact genetic copy of the Finn Dorset.
The other important thing about Dolly is that her
genes came from a dead sheep. The cells came
from a frozen mammary gland. This is explained
better by the magazine "New Scientist." The
mouse is embryonic, the sheep is the cloning of
adult animals. Earlier cloning could duplicate
embryos. Mouse A Mouse B Male and female
mated Mouse X An undeveloped embryo,
characteristics unknown. Mouse Y Nucleus of cell
from X inserted into one of Mouse Y's egg cells,
which starts dividing. Mouse Z Healthy mouse
Genetically identical to X. New Method duplicates
an adult Sheep X An adult cells were taken from
her udder. Nucleus of cell from X inserted into
Sheep Y's egg cell electric shock makes it start
dividing. Sheep Z Carried embryo in her uterus (a
common surrogate breeding technique) Clone of
Sheep X Healthy sheep genetically identical to X
The Cloning Debate The thought of cloning to
some people is repulsive and immoral. Others
think that it is a scientific breakthrough to be
valued for its own worth. Anti-cloners believe
Man should not meddle in God's business of
creating new beings. They take from the Bible this
quote which supports their beliefs: "For I testify
unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto
these things, God shall add unto him the plagues
that are written in this book: And if any man shall
take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the
things which are written in this book" [Revelations
22:18­19]. Advocates for cloning respond by
stating that when the airplane was invented people
hated the idea and said that if God wanted men to
fly he would of given them wings. Now airplanes
are thought of as one of the safest and fastest
ways of travel. Human cloning presents many
ethical problems because it is playing with Life
itself. The father of cloning Ian Wilmut stated
before the U.S. subcommittee on health last
March. " In previous work with cells from
embryos, three out of five died soon after birth
and showed developmental abnormalities. Similar
experiments with humans would be totally
unacceptable." While that argument is good,
almost no experiment can be done perfectly the
first time. The current methods are a start and can
be improved upon. One thing to point out is that
when Thomas Eddison invented the light bulb he
did it hundreds of times before he got one to
work. Those against cloning condemn that
argument because when Henry Ford dug up the
ground behind his lab he found all the light bulbs
that Eddison had just thrown out the back like a
garbage dump. You cannot just throw out human
lives that didn't come out the way you wanted it
to, and if you if it doesn't turn out the way you
wanted it to do you have the right to take its life.
Then what if it reproduces with others like it or
reproduces with humans. Can you take away its
life and all of its offspring. Some suspicions have
arisen that even if the U.S. makes cloning of
humans illegal, that it will be carried overseas and
done there. "Cloning humans from adults' tissues is
likely to be achievable any time from one to ten
years from now." Cornell University biologist W.
Bruce Currie estimates that only about ten labs
around the world have the ability to clone humans
(his not among them) However, an in-vitro
fertilization clinic could be upgraded with only a
small investment to be able to clone humans.
President Clinton proposed a ban on cloning
saying that, "Banning human cloning reflects our
humanity. It is the right thing to do....At its worst
[this new method] could lead to misguided and
malevolent attempts to select certain kinds of
children--to make our children objects rather then
cherished individuals." Those against cloning
praised the proposed ban but said that it should
include animals because they are cherished
individuals too. In the U.K. all research on human
embryos is regulated by the Human Fertilization
and Embryology Act passed in 1990. This
provides appropriate framework for resolving the
legal and ethical issues involved in cloning. The
U.S. is considering whether it should regulate
human cloning or just ban it. (Britain, Denmark,
Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain
already do.) This may not help anything though,
since as of June 17, 1997 federal funds are not
allowed to be used for human embryology
research, but privately funded research can .
When the National Biotechnics Advisory
Commission issued its report, it recommended that
cloning of human beings be outlawed in the United
States. The panel did say this at the end of the
report, " The members recognized that if further
research made cloning safer and more familiar,
society might one day change its mind." So the
panel recommended that any legal ban be
re-evaluated after three to five years. If Congress
agrees, the cloning debate could go well into the
next century. Those who are against allowing
people to clone themselves and others, say that if
this process were to be perfected, some lunatic
could theoretically go out and clone another
Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein and that we
would have another World War, or Gulf War.
Most everybody agrees that the world does not
need another Fuhrer or Dictator. Supporters of
cloning have stated that this scientific discovery is
not a science fiction book unfolding that this will
not allow people to clone themselves when they
are dying so they could live forever, that this will
not create robots who will look the same as the
person they were cloned from or act and think the
same. This is summed up best by a quote from
Harry Griffin who works at the Roslin Institute.
"And what is left when we strip away the
hyperbole and what has been written to entertain
us? Most certainly a major scientific breakthrough.
Most scientists had thought through differentiation
- the gradual process of specialization that allow a
single fertilized egg to develop into hundreds of
different cell types that make up the whole animal-
was irreversible....The new nuclear transfer
techniques could be used to examine how the
so-called somatic mutations - mutations that take
place in the adult cell which are not inheritable-
contribute to aging and lead to tumors.
Understanding the process involved in
'reprogramming ' could provide new insight into
control of gene expression in differentiated cells
and lead to new approaches to cell therapy." One
of the huge bonuses of cloning animals is that if
you cloned endangered species you could boost
their populations immensely. You could clone a
whole herd of rhinoceros or panda. The problem
with this is that it decreases the diversity of the
gene pool and makes the herd less tolerant to
disease. A disease, like a virus, could kill the entire
herd of animals. Much like in a forest where there
are many of the same trees one virus can come
through and decimate it. The benefit of cloning
domestic animals is that you human genes can be
incorporated into an animals body so that they
have human genes. These animals are called
transgenic animals. A cow named Rosie was
genetically engineered in this manner by PPL
Therapeutics (the company that funded the Dolly
project). Rosie makes a human protein because,
when she was a mere embryo in a dish, scientists
slipped the gene for the protein into her cells. The
cow's milk contains the human gene alpha-
lactalbumin an amino acid that newborns need.
The idea is to purify her milk and sell it in a
powdered form, for premature babies who cannot
nurse. Transgenic pigs are being studied as a
possible source for organs. If pigs and other
animals are genetically engineered scientists hope
they can save the ten people that die every day
waiting for a donated organ. On Both sides a
majority agree that it should not be legal to raise
clones just for spare body parts. Imagine having a
room full of people being raised so that one day
they can be sent off to a slaughter house for
humans. Just so that whoever they were cloned
from can live a little better or longer. One of the
common misconceptions created mostly by the
media about cloning is that clones would be
identical copies of the people they were cloned
from. They will maybe look alike but we can't
even be sure of that because if the person was
born from a different uterus or at a different time
the whole environment during pregnancy is
different and the embryo can be affected. Because
of this and many factors, a clone would be a
completely different person Most of us at some
time or another in our life have probably met a
clone before. Those people are identical twins.
They do not necessarily think and act the same,
but they do both think and act. Conclusion This
topic is a very controversial issue and I don't think
I will be the last person to do a report on it. I also
don't think that this report will answer all the
questions as to whether cloning should be allowed
for animals or humans. Personally, I think that
there are many benefits for cloning animals. The
most important one in my opinion is the possibility
of having animals be organ donors. I am
undecided on the benefits, ethics and morality of
cloning humans. It does not matter about my
opinion because it can do little for or against this
issue, this genie (Dolly) has been let out of the
bottle and it will not go back in.

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