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Should Human Cloning Be Permitted? Essay

2064 words - 9 pages

“The bill would ban human cloning, and any attempts at human cloning, for both reproductive purposes and medical research. Also forbidden is the importing of cloned embryos or products made from them”; these are the views of a US representative, Ken Calvert. Humans have been cloning plants and small animals like invertebrates since centuries but the idea of human cloning is controversial and a topic of discourse. Human Cloning refers to the asexual production of a human being from an ancestor to which it would be genetically identical. Scientists started their research on cloning animals in 18th century. August Weismann, In 1880s, proposed that the genetic information of a cell would diminish with every cell division. Hans Spemann challenged his idea and in his book entitled “Embryonic Development and Induction” talked about a fantastical cloning experiment which later became a basis for animal cloning. He called it a “nuclear transfer experiment” and suggested that cloning could be carried out by transferring nucleus from a cell into an enucleated – a cell whose nucleus has been removed – egg. John Gurdon, at Oxford University, put forward his idea and cloned South African frogs from an intact nucleus of a Xenopus tadpole. After Gurdon, an English embryologist, Dr. Ian Wilmut started research on cloning of mammals and cloned a sheep named “Dolly” which became an important scientific and technological breakthrough. With the birth of Dolly, the world realized that animal cloning was no longer a dream or an element of a science fiction movie and the debate about human cloning captured much attention.
Theoretical human cloning has been subdivided into two major types: Therapeutic Cloning and Reproductive Cloning. Therapeutic cloning involves the transfer of nucleus from a skin cell to a fertilized enucleated egg for the formation of stem cells – undifferentiated cells. Soon after the fertilized egg transforms into a blastocyst, stem cells are extracted and transplanted into a patient to treat a disease or to perform organ transplantation. Reproductive cloning, on the other hand, refers to the formation of a full living copy of an individual from a surrogate mother. In reproductive cloning, the nucleus from a donor adult cell is transferred to an enucleated egg and if this cell begins to divide, it is transferred to a surrogate mother. Human cloning has extraordinary capabilities of changing our lives and the lives of our future generations. But we need to reevaluate, “How much we should allow this technology to take over our lives?” Just because we can clone human beings, should we? Should we use human embryos or stem cells in medical field or both? Many people oppose the practice of human cloning owing to different scientific, religious and ethical perspectives. People in favor of human cloning claim that it will not only facilitate biologists in medical field but it will also allow infertile couples to have children and let other people to bring...

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