Those who made the atomic bomb went ahead
in spite of knowing about its terrible destruction,
But this doesnt mean that it was the best choice
– Bishop Elio Sgreccia
The idea that one person could be reproduced to be an exact replica of another, all the way down to the genetic code, is preposterous right? Wrong. Cloning is here, its been here and it will be here for a long time. Scientists have been trying for years to understand genetics more, and when they cloned the first living animal they took a big step in the right direction. People do not know how beneficial cloning and genome research can help us in the future. It could save lives, help the physically disabled and all kinds of other reasons. Then there is the ethical approach as most religious groups like to point out, is it proper to play god as the scientists do? Then there are the religious but scientific cults that believe that, when god gave us life, he gave us a puzzle with pieces missing, we were meant to find those pieces.
Dolly the sheep was the first successful animal cloning attempt in history. They took the cells from a 6 year old Finn Dorset sheep and then starved the cells to put them in a resting state. Eggs were taken from a female sheep that had been chemically induced to produce more than the normal amount of eggs for reproduction. The eggs are then put together with the cultured cells and using an electric current, the cell and the egg are fused together to form a couplet. This embryo is tested and nurtured for seven days in a laboratory with scientists constantly working with them. Then, when they are ready, the embryos are placed inside the uterus of a femal sheep. This sheep becomes pregnant and within 21 weeks, you have a new baby sheep, a new sheep that is named Dolly. It took the scientists at Roslin Institute 277 tries to get a successful embryo to put in the Scottish Blackface ewe that they had for a mother sheep. After 143 days they had their clone, on July 5th, 1996.
New Benefits of human cloning are being discovered every day, but the most important ones are already quite apparent. For example, treating hemophilia. Hemophilia is a very serious disease which prevents the blood from clotting so that a minor cut perhaps when shaving, could quite possibly cause the victim to bleed to death, unless properly treated. Scientist can genetically modify an embryo by placing a protein called human factor IX, which is a protein to help clot the blood. So that by the time the baby is born, the protein will already be in the childs system.
Also, human organs. Thousands of people die a year while waiting for a replacement heart, kidney, liver etc. If a doctor were to replace a human organ with an organ from a pig, then the organ would be rejected by the human body because of an enzyme which works like sort of an immune reaction, causing the human body to fear the organ and not let it work. With cloning and genetic engineering, special organ donating pigs could be produced without that enzyme in their body, so that the organs could be physically accepted into a human body with the help drugs to let the immune system work with some slack so that the organ would not be rejected.
Other very serious diseases such as Parkinsons disease, muscular dystrophy and diabetes could be treated as well. None of these diseases have a very effective treatment because they are caused by having certain populations of types of damaged cells that cannot mend themselves or replace themselves. Scientists can take undamaged cells from the victim themselves, from other human beings or even from animals, and genetically culture the cells until they become perfect and then replace them into the affected human body to cure the illness. Animals could even be grown with the proper genes constructed before they were born, to produce special cells, specifically for being accepted into the human body, and there is even the chance that something special and unique might be the outcome. Like possibly a muscle cell that produces muscle mass at a faster rate, or a cell that helps body regeneration. Anything could happen when it comes to science.
Cloning could even help produce healthier and more plentiful livestock, for betterment of the world. Herds of cattle could be produced without a protein in their system that makes them susceptible to diseases like Mad Cow Disease. If grown without this, then doctors would not have to worry about medicines using products taken from cattle, infecting their patients with disease that might have come from an infected cow, because the cow could not be infected.
When used for human reproduction, diseases that would be passed from mother to child in the womb could be prevented. The embryo could be extracted from the mother and be treated by advanced forms of gene therapy, that would prevent the passing on of almost any given disease. Aids could be abolished, as well as other very serious illnesses.
There are many benefits to cloning, the list could go on for pages of things that are good about cloning and the future possibilities of what could be done, but the list is about equally as long for problems with cloning involving the ethics and morals.
One of the largest problems that people have with cloning is very overestimated. If cloning were to become popular, and actually had a percentage of cloned human beings within the population, what if we lost the ability to clone human beings? Technically, some reproduction would result in inbreeding if two mates with the exact same genetic layout were to reproduce, abnormalities could be very frequent.
There is also the view of people that are against abortion. They will also be against cloning because of the rate of failure. For example it took 277 tries to create one successful clone of a sheep. The technology they have now, even though advanced, is not in the final stages so many things could go wrong and quite possibly, many problems could arise of failures to clone a human being, resulting in many premature child deaths. This could cause much emotional disturbances for the surrogate mothers as well as cause other problems with rights groups.
Another main problem is the fact that religious groups tell that human cloning is making men obsolete and disobeying Gods law of life by taking Adam out of the picture, so its just Eve and a team of bio-engineers in the garden of Eden, where is the fun in that. Also they claim that by creating human beings through science, its denying them there own soul, they have to be a carbon copy of an already present human being. It all boils down that they dislike scientists playing god with the human body, to be able to create a creature at whim without Gods approval.
Also there is always the problem of emotional and mental problems if a cloned person were to figure out one day that they were constructed in a lab, instead of the womb. They could commit suicide, go crazy and maybe harm others, but the list of theories never ends, anything could happen. But still other groups argue this by saying that by the time people are actually being cloned and put into the population just as any person, it would be socially acceptable at that time, and there would be no difference.
In conclusion, cloning is a very important matter. Its here, its now and it will be around for a long time so people should start to get used to hearing about it. No matter what laws or bans are put on nothing will hold back what technology will bring. I for one am for cloning. Sure the possibilities of error are high, and problems will arise there are way to many good things that could come out of human cloning. The lives it could save, the endangered species, the perfection of human life. Not enough people realize this, we have to take new steps. I feel that human evolution is not over yet, this is just part of the next step that we need to take.