Cloning: What Is The Right Thing To Do?

1363 words - 5 pages

Multiple Source Essay

What is the Right thing to do?

Cloning offers many applications, especially in medicine, however, in spite of the many advantages, many people still consider the idea of human cloning, and the practice of cloning all together to be immoral. This opinion is rarely based on a careful analysis of facts, often only a spontaneous reaction. Cloning technology has potential for doing much good, research in human cloning should continue, although some applications of it may need to be restricted.
     Cloning is the process of extracting the DNA out of a donor’s cell and implanting this genetic code in another cell in order to grow a being with identical genes, thus virtually duplicating the donor. The term clone refers to the new being that has identical genes to the donor. There are three types of cloning, when the media reports on cloning they are generally referring to reproductive cloning. There is also recombinant DNA Technology, and therapeutic cloning (McGee, Human Cloning Debate).
     Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another. Scientist transfer genetic materials from the nucleus of a donor adult cell to an egg whose nucleus has been removed. This reconstructed egg containing the DNA must be treated with chemicals or electric current to stimulate cell division. Once the cloned embryo reaches a suitable stage it is transferred to the uterus of a female host where it develops until birth (Paul Lauritzen, Cloning). The most notable example of reproductive cloning was dolly the sheep.
     Another type of reproduction is “recombinant DNA technology,” or “gene cloning.” To clone a gene, a DNA fragment containing the desired gene must be obtained from the chromosomal DNA using restriction enzymes and then united with a plasmid that has been cut with the same restriction enzymes. When the fragment of chromosomal DNA is joined with its cloning vector in the lab it is called a recombination DNA molecule (Paul Lauritzen, Cloning).
     The most controversial type of cloning is therapeutic cloning. The goal of this process is not to create cloned humans, but to harvest stem cells that can be used to study human development and to treat disease. Stem cells are important to biomedical researchers because they can be used to generate any type of specialized cell in the human body. Therapeutic cloning has many medical opportunities that will continue to be investigated for years into the future (Nash, Age of Cloning).
     Research in cloning began as early as 1952 when researchers in Pennsylvania attempted to clone a frog from an embryonic cell. This practice is called embryo twinning and is commonly used in the cattle industry (Nash, Age of Cloning). Despite these early successes, advances in cloning slowed because it is much more...

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