Biotechnology - Human Cloning: Should It Be Done? Essay

vBiotechnology – Human Cloning Should it be done? Biotechnology is a field of biology that involves the use of living things in engineering, technology, medicine and other useful applications. The concept of this field includes a range of procedures for modifying living organisms according to human purposes. One major subject in biotechnology is human cloning. This is the asexual creation of a genetically identical copy of a human, human cell or a human tissue. It is a controversial issue and there are many reasons for and against cloning human beings.

Many scientists are saying that human cloning is a positive thing, such as Dr Ian Wilmut. He said “[Human] cloning promises such great benefits that it would be immoral not to do it. ” Cloning a human would involve removing the nucleus from an unfertilised egg cell, transferring a nucleus from a mature (or somatic) cell into the egg cell, then stimulating the egg to divide and transplanting it into the surrogate mother to grow. There are many positive outcomes as a result of human cloning. A large problem in today’s society is infertility. Many couples are unable to have children of their own due this problem of infertility.

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Cloning human beings is one solution for this natural problem. It is a medical breakthrough that could provide couples with children of their own. Although the couple could adopt, they might want a baby of their own. Human cloning allows an infertile couple to have children that are genetically theirs. Some mothers want to go through the pleasure of actually having a baby, which is why cloning would be a better idea for them, rather than adoption. Human cloning can also help in cases where a parent has an inheritable genetic defect or disease.

It would provide a better chance of having a healthy child, with no inherited genetic diseases. Human cloning has also been seen as a solution to gay and lesbian couples wanting children. Cloning will allow gay and lesbian couples to produce a biologic offspring. Many people in our society are affected by genetic diseases. A genetic disease is an illness passed on, through genes, to generations of a family. Advances in human cloning will help people to replace defective genes with healthy ones. Cloning humans and cloning technologies can also help researchers in the field of genetics.

They might be able to understand the composition of genes and genetic diseases in a better manner. The real benefit of cloning humans is that genes will be able to be altered, thus genetic diseases can be removed from the offspring. This will help and benefit the health of future generations. The most deadly disease that scientists might cure would be cancer. Cancer strikes 125,000 people each year, and approximately 2. 2 million cases have been documented. According to “Why Clone Human Embryos? ” “Oncologists believe that embryonic study will advance understanding of the rapid cell growth of cancer. Altering genes in a cloned human can also allow scientists to reproduce a certain trait in humans. They would be able to produce people with certain qualities, traits and characteristics, making humans more evolved and able to adapt quicker to the changing environment. Although there are many advantages to human cloning, there are also some disadvantages. Cloning is not yet sufficient or correct. It is a major scientific challenge to create a ‘perfect clone’ and there are still ‘side effects’ and health problems relating to cloning animals, let alone human beings.

The real question with cloning humans is If animals cannot be cloned to be ‘perfect’ how can they create a perfectly functioning human clone? With animal cloning, there have been a variety of abnormalities, including kidney, liver, heart, blood vessel, skin, muscles and immune system problems. There are also problems with gigantism and many limb and facial abnormalities. The same problems would be expected when cloning humans. 95-99% of cloned embryos, including humans, die before birth. Advanced Cell Technology found that 25% of clones showed severe developmental problems soon after they were born.

Statistics also show that there is more than a 50% chance of the cloned human being born with abnormalities. With these statistics, it is clearly shown that there is not a good possibility of the human embryo living passed birth. Due to the inefficiency of animal cloning and the lack of understanding, many scientists believe that it would be highly unethical to start cloning humans. Scientists also do not know how cloning humans could impact the mental development of a clone. The mental development of a human is crucial for the growth of healthy humans. Cloning humans, at this stage, would be ethically irresponsible.

Cloning also has a major ethical side to it. Many people believe that it is wrong to ‘play God’ and genetically alter humans qualities and traits through cloning. They also believe that cloning humans causes destruction to the embryo. The Roman Catholic Church, under Pope Benedict XVI, has condemned the practice and creation of human clones. The Dignitas Personae states that it represents “a grave offence to the dignity of that person as well as to the fundamental equality of a people. ” Christians and Jews oppose human cloning and call it highly unethical and unnatural.

Paul Billings, co-founder of GeneSage, stated “there is no right to have a genetically related child, cloning is not safe, cloning is not medically necessary, and cloning could not be delivered in an equitable manner. ” Furthermore, The House of Representatives passed the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 to ban all cloning in Australia. This act was passed on and made official in December 2006, although therapeutic cloning is now legal in some parts of Australia. Many people still disagree about cloning humans, as scientists have not yet made a perfect clone.

Molecular biologist Kathy Hudson said “But I’m not sure it will ever be ethical to prove that it is safe because that would involve human beings in those experiments – and is that ethical? ” Human cloning could be a medical breakthrough for the future, but currently it is unsafe and highly unethical to experiment on human embryos. The risks of abnormalities are too high to start cloning humans and the consequences of something not working in cloning are huge. With so many unknowns concerning cloning, the attempt to clone humans at the moment is considered dangerous and ethically irresponsible. Word count (1057)

Bibliography National Geographic News-”Scientific Pitfalls Complicate Cloning Debate” Ben Harder May 31, 2002 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/human_cloning http://www. buzle. com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-cloning. htm National Geographic Today- “Human Cloning Expert Doubts Claim, Explains Issue” Bijal P. Trivedi January 9, 2003 “Cloning” – William Dudley Published 2006 http://www. ornl. gov/sci/techresources/human_cloning/elsi/cloning. html http://www. religioustolerance. org/cloning. htm http://www. actionbioscience. org/biotech/mcgee. html NSW Biology – By Carolyn Jeffery, Pauline Ross Published 2007


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