Even since a little lamb came forward saying that cloning of mammals is possible the world has been in a state of bewilderment. This means that if cloning a sheep is possible, how far away are humans? Is there a new generation of Dr. Frankensteins coming? I hope to answer this question, the process of cloning, the positive and negative aspects, ethical aspects, and an authors view of cloning all the way back from the 1940’s. The basics however, are the first part. The process of cloning is involved. This process includes both embryo and adult DNA cloning. Embryo cloning, which was been around the longest, is the less complicated of the two.
Embryo cloning is not really cloning for say. It is more of a twinning process. It has been used in mice since the late 1970’s and other animals since the 1980’s. The process is really quite simple. An egg and sperm are mixed together in a petri dish.
When conception occurs the zygote develops into a blastula. After dividing into a couple stages, a chemical is added to remove the “zona pelocide” which promotes cell division. The blastula is then divided into separate cells, recoated, and then allowed to further develop. Adult DNA cloning however is a little more complicated. Adult DNA cloning was thought to be impossible until Dolly was created.
It involves the use of nuclear transfer technology (“Human Cloning”). It was used quite successfully in the past, especially for embryo cloning, but never for primates (Baker). It is also noteworthy that Robert J. Stillman and his colleges at the George Washington Medical Center were the first group to go public to say it is possible. They took seventeen unusable embryos (each had two sperm for fertilization) and managed to split each successfully.
They also reported on the best ways to split them and how long they should be allowed to develop. All of the zygotes had the potential to become a fetus had they not been previously defective (“Human Cloning”). The limits on cloning are very undecided now. The limits on Dr. Wilmut were very significant; it took him 277 tries to produce one Dolly (Motavalli).
And it is not the scientific limits that everyone is worried about, its congressional limits. Dolly’s creator, Dr. Wilmut is in favor of a limit for human cloning because he feels his progress can be used elsewhere better (“Dolly”). Republican George Brown of California stated, “It is significant that Congress followed the lead of the scientific in discussing those issues. George E. Brown stated, “It is significant that Congress followed the lead of the scientific community in discussing those issues.
It caused us to curb our instincts to go out and regulate everything” (Baker). While some argue its unethical, its been said that a ban or restriction would halt some very important benefits such as human skin for bone marrow transplants (Baker). Dolly however does not care and ” is free from those limits now, and from the threat of a revedezous with mint sauce, lives out her days in ovine luxury in Scotland. Scientists say they plan to breed her someday soon. No cloning, though; this time, they’re going to do it the old fashioned way – by artificial insemination (“Dolly”).
People are very split when it comes to taking sides on cloning. The positive aspects of cloning are very numerous. Gina Kolata of the New York Times and author of Clone has said, “I think a lot of people who initially found it repugnant now feel it may not be so bad. We can make identical twins of ourselves and from there we can make identical twins resistant to aids (“Dolly”). It is also very possible that in the very near future, farms will have cloned animals that help humans. It is possible that the proteins in a cow’s milk could treat such diseases as hemophilia. Cloning could cause a better understanding of the pregnancy process.
It may even lead to a way to stop spontaneous abortions. It could also help women who can not bring a fetus to term. Another benefit is the way human morula develop is similar to that of cancer, so it is believed that if there is a way to stop the division of cells is found, then a way to stop the growth of cancer may be found. For fertilization some women can only supply one egg. Her chances would be increased if an egg were divisible into six or eight zygotes. A woman could also have one set of twins rather that go through two pregnancies.
It would also cut down on career disruptions, not to mention the pain of childbirth. Since talents seem to run in families the DNA from a desired adult with those traits might produce an infant with those traits as well. A medical benefit would be with a husband that was sterile could use one of his cells to mate with one of his wife’s ovum. The female would be the “factory” and the male the genetic information (Human Cloning). Reasons why people want cloning, are diverse and the people themselves, such as: Recover someone who was loved – a twin a reminder Infertility, rather that use donated sperm and eggs, who not use a cell of your own to give birth to yourself. Eugenics, an attempt to improve the human race.
Megalomania, a desire to reproduce one’s own quality. Spare parts, using a cell from your own body to duplicate yourself, take tissue, example such as bone marrow, then offer the baby for adoption. Assisting medical research. Just curiosity (Dixon). The negative aspects of cloning are even more numerous.
For instance people have wondered if a soul exists in a clone. A soul has no properties and can not be found by current methods. Roman Catholics and Evangelic Christians believe that when conception occurs, so does the entering of the soul. They feel that it was never God’s intention to divide the baby. Also each zygote that was cloned and lost would be deaths, just as important of that of a newborn (“Human Cloning”).
There is always the male point of view: Dolly was cloned using a ewe’s egg and a cell from another ewe’s body. It is noteworthy that no semen from a ram was involved. If the technique were perfected in humans, and came into general usage, then there would be no genetic need for men. All of the human males could be allowed to die off. (Both the authors of this essay and of this paper are males and do not think kindly of such a future. However some readers might think differently, and look fondly on the possibility of a future without males (Human Cloning).
In May of 1997, President Clinton did little to ease peoples fears. He announced A ban for five years but nuclear transfer technology experiments could continue. In other words, “Clones may be made, but not born for the next five years” (Dixon). But it is also noteworthy that science, the public, and the government that when heart transplants first came out, they came with similar ethical alarms (Baker). It is difficult to determine if cloning is ethical.
The general public and government views on cloning are diverse. A 1997 CNN poll conducted among 1005 Americans with 3 percent error concluded that: 89 percent felt cloning humans was morally unacceptable 66 percent felt cloning animals was morally unacceptable 69 percent is scared of the possibility of cloning humans 74 percent believe that cloning humans is against God’s will 19 percent say cloning is not against God’s will (“Human Cloning”). Scientists seem to be unanimous in their beliefs about cloning adult humans, and they feel it is not a good place for research. Harold Varmus, director of the National Institute of Health said, “[Human Cloning] is offensive and not scientifically necessary.” Also, is it right to allow gay and lesbian parents to produce a baby? Especially in the female case where no male participation would be used? Since no participation on the male part is needed, what good does genetic diversity do? “The result of these successful experiments with sheep and monkeys, with the potential for the future extension to humans is . .
. provoking worldwide discussions on the ethics and morality of cloning.” -Rep. Connie Morilla (Baker). T.X. Huxley’s view on cloning dating all the way back from the 1950’s is startling. Huxley is also somewhat of a pessimist.
He originally wrote Brave New World, in hopes of showing people the way, his way. Huxley also believed that people would have time to change. He wrote Brave New World Revisited, in hope of showing people the many beliefs coming forward to substantiate his own. Huxley believes that in the second half of the twentieth century society does nothing but harm to the population by letting the weak survive. Every time a genetically defective child is allowed to reproduce, the population will not get any better, and it is likely to deteriorate. Populations increases are as follows: Declaration of Independence signing: 700 million 1931 writing of Brave New World: just under 2 billion 1958 Revisited: two billion, eight hundred million Huxley wrote in Brave New World Revisited, “And tomorrow what? Penicillin, DDT, and clean water are cheap commodities, whose effects on public health are all out of proportion to their cost. Even the poorest government is rich enough to provide its subjects with a substantial measure of death control.
Huxley believes that by pursing wonder drugs to help stop diseases like malaria we save hundreds of thousands of lives. But then those lives can not be properly maintained and we damage our population further. In Brave New World, Huxley fantasizes of eugenics and dysegnics. Huxley’s ideal was as follows, In one set of bottles biologically superior ova, fertilized by biologically superior sperm, were given the best possible prenatal treatment and were finally decanted as Betas, Alphas, and even Alpha Pluses. In another much more numerous set of bottles, biologically inferior ova, fertilized by biologically inferior sperm, were subjected to the Bakanovsky Process (96 identical twins from a single egg), and treated prenatal with alcohol and other protein poisons. The creatures finally decanted were almost subhuman; but they were capable of performing unskilled work and, when properly conditioned, detensioned by free and frequent access to the opposite sex, constantly distracted by gratuitous entertainment and reinforced in their good behavior patterns by daily doses of soma, could be counted on to give no trouble to their superiors. That may not be the generally accepted idea, but who has the right to judge another individual? Did Dr.
Frankenstein have the right to create his genetic monster? Who is to say? The rational behind both sides is convincing, and I approve of both sides. The point about the usefulness of males is quite sad for most of us I hope. Maybe society needs to step back, and look at how we could benefit, or use it towards destruction. The best was is probably to leave it to nature because it was here before us, and it will be here after us.