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The Effects Of Cloning On The Actual Clone

1353 words - 5 pages

The Effects of Cloning on the Actual Clone

An examination of the side-effects of cloning from the actual clone?s point of view. Focusing on the female cloned sheep Dolly (1995-2001) and her development under the unusual conditions in which she was raised that resulted in a premature euthenization. Not only is the process of conception brought into consideration, but also the living conditions and interactions between Dolly and other creatures is detailed. The resulting behavioral development of the sheep is then weighed and the death of Dolly attributed to not the cloning process, but the propaganda and attention given the actual sheep. The controversy surrounding the issue and ethics of cloning, centered on the large animal side, is also addressed here. Contributing factors as to why clones are not the exact carbon copies of their ancestors, as is expected, are also listed. Technical jargon is elaborated upon.
With all the controversy over the ethics of cloning, the focus of all the articles has been on ?playing God? and how it changes the meaning of life. The train of thought has been that animal cloning will lead to human cloning, and that human cloning is unethical and maybe even dangerous if the practice becomes common. But the common civilian doesn?t stop to think about the effects of cloning on the actual clone.
No, most non-scientifically oriented people simply know some of the ethical arguments for or against cloning. Such points including that tampering with natural selection is wrong, or that cloned livestock would benefit the economy. Of course, the media most commonly focuses on the bad news and then the propaganda about cloning issues surfaces. Take for instance the belief that clones age faster. This theory originating from the fact that Dolly the cloned sheep died at the age of six years where as normal out-door sheep live to be from twelve to thirteen years old. Dolly was born in 1995 and six years later in 2001 was euthenized. Euthenization is similar to putting an animal to sleep where large animal that would otherwise suffer in life is killed. Most
From the Clone?s Perspective 2
people would take this fact and directly connect Dolly?s death with the fact that she was the result of cloning. Then again, contributing to this theory is the discovery in 1999 of the length of Dolly?s telomeres. Telomeres being considered the indicators of cell aging from where they are located at the ends of chromosomes. It is understood that these telomeres protect chromosomes from damage when the cells divide and shorten every time the cells divide. One could say that telomeres are a shell around an egg. When the shell erodes, the chromosomal egg breaks. The erosion of the telomeres allows many diseases associated with old age to set in. In 1999, it was reported that the famous cloned sheep Dolly had shorter telomeres than was considered normal for sheep. This normality being...

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