Reproductive Cloning: Useful Technology Or An Unethical Experiment

2087 words - 8 pages

In 1997, a group of Scottish scientists at the Roslin Institute successfully cloned a sheep, named “Dolly,” through a complicated process, called reproductive cloning (“Cloning Fact Sheet” 1). Since “Dolly’s” creation, scientists all over the world have been intrigued by the idea of possibly cloning a human being someday. This memorable event in history started a chain of experiments leading to an ongoing controversial question: Is reproductive cloning a useful technology that should be legalized, or an unethical experiment that should no longer be toyed with? Before researching this question, I would have answered it by simply saying that I am absolutely against the idea of cloning because as a Christian, I believe that the power to create humans and animals should be left in the hands of God; no one else. All I knew about cloning was that it meant reproducing an identical clone of a human or animal, but that trying to clone a human is illegal. I didn’t even know that the version of cloning I was thinking of was one of three specific types of cloning. However, now that I’ve gained an understanding of what reproductive cloning is exactly and what the pros and cons of this science are, I’ve discovered that there is more to this question, than just arguing against it without knowing what the progression of cloning could mean for the entire world. It is for this reason that I chose to write an inquiry essay on the issue of reproductive cloning.
Before taking a side on the science of reproductive cloning, it is necessary to analyze the word’s definition. As defined by the U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, reproductive cloning is “a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal.” In other words, it is the science of generating an identical copy of another animal. Before I even read the details behind reproductive cloning, I realized how complex the process must be. First, scientists must transfer genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult cell to an egg whose nucleus has been removed, a process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (“Cloning Fact Sheet” 3). Then, the new egg containing the DNA from the donor cell is treated with chemicals or electric current to provoke cell division (3). Finally, the sufficient cloned embryo is transferred to the uterus of a female host where it continues to develop until birth (3). Thus, a cloned animal is created.
Clearly, reproductive cloning is an incredible technology. In fact, it was once believed that this form of cloning was impossible because scientists were convinced that once a cell became specialized as an organ, such as one of a heart or liver, the change was permanent and any other genes in the cell would become inactive (“Cloning Fact Sheet” 3). The creation of “Dolly” the sheep proved them wrong. The ability to clone animals means that with time and effort, cloned human beings could be walking the earth...

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