Funston Science

Topic 3: Cloning

Filed under: Cloning — tfunston at 4:14 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cloning

 Cloning of organisms such as mammals has been done for decades, but still with varying success. So far, most cloned animals die just before or after birth.  Nonetheless, cloning has the potential to lead to some exciting (yet controversial) benefits:

  • Agriculture and Drug Production – for example Polly, a transgenic cloned lamb, is able to produce milk containing factor IX — the protein that is deficient in haemophiliacs.
  • Maintaining biodiversity – endangered species could be preserved if currently practiced methods fail.
  • Treatment for Human Disease – cells could be harvested from early embryos to provide cell and tissue replacement without the hazards of transplantation rejection.

 Statement: Cloning for beneficial reasons such as the ones above, far outweigh the risks.


17 Comments »

  1.    Cameron Millsap — April 9, 2014 @ 12:21 pm   

    Cloning humans for beneficial reasons have many risks involved that outweigh the benefits. The human cells that need to be harvested from the already living human are old. Since they have this age already imprinted onto them, there is a large risk of premature aging and premature death. This provides increased health complications for the clone like tumors (HRF.org, 2013). As the clones grow older, they lose their sense of individuality. Whether they are raised as a child to their parent or a twin sibling, the clone may have great expectations to live up to. While they could grow up with different preferences than the human, they still have the exact same genetic make-up, meaning the clone could feel not good enough for their parent. Thirdly, different societal classes could be developed so that the clones are treated worse than humans, i.e. second class of clones. Cloning is very unpredictable and inefficient in the creation of humans. In the case of Dolly the sheep, only one out of 277 attempts was successful (Dolly was the only successful one). In the case of humans, it would be very similar. Finally, the fear of people cloning for a “super human” or a prime soldier could be traumatic for soldiers in war. It is clear that the risks far outweigh the benefits of cloning.

  2.    Maddy Evans — April 9, 2014 @ 12:49 pm   

    Cloning is a controversial topic that describes numerous processes that can produce genetically identical copies of biological entities. Although cloning has many ethical issues about whether it should be practiced, cloning has many beneficial factors such as in the medical field and in agriculture. Cloning can happen naturally such as in identical twins or artificially such as in animals. There are three types of artificial cloning; gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. In the past, researchers have tested these types of cloning on biological materials like genes, cells and even organisms. One example of a way cloning is practiced is in Genetic Manipulation. Genetic manipulation is the manipulation of a fertilized egg to have the same genes as a relative. This is beneficial in curing hereditary diseases, donation of organs and correcting abnormal genes. Cloning also allows the propagation of animals facing extinction and thus maintains ecological balance. Cloning can also bring life back to the organisms that are dead as long as their DNA is conserved. If we are able to successfully clone endangered species, we could take them from being close to extinction to being fully replenished. A final example on how cloning can be used is by a type of therapeutic cloning where human organs are replicated. This type of cloning may be able to genetically provide identical cells for transplantation of tissues and cells. The major benefit with this process is that after new embryonic stem cells are harvested from extracting DNA from a person receiving a transplant, the new cells can develop into any form of cells therefore being used to grow a completely new organ or set of tissue. If this theory proves to be a success, the use of anti-rejection drugs would be unnecessary because the new cells would not trigger a response from the use of the drugs. Although, there are many obstacles to face when addressing the advantages of Cloning, in the near future if scientists are able to find successful ways of practicing this method, there will be multiple ways of helping to fix genetic defaults, save lives and improving the rate of extinction in many animals.

  3.    Rebecca Redpath — April 14, 2014 @ 5:11 pm   

    Cameron Millsap, April 9
    In rebuttal to the statement “cloning is very unpredictable and inefficient in the creation of humans”. The future does not entail cloning humans as a main focus. Our population is already far too great and there is no need to add more cloned humans or else the earth will have greater difficulty sustaining all of us. The point of cloning is beneficial when it comes to medical discoveries, animals and agriculture. By cloning cells in the medical field it is possible to find out what will work when treating certain diseases, such as cancer. This is called gene therapy and it has proven to be successful (Marchione, 2013). At the moment, cloning animals has not been very successful, but will time there is confidence that scientists will overcome the present difficulties and it will become successful as well. Benefits of cloning animals include producing transgenic farm animals, which help with food supply and income for farmers by reducing the poor quality livestock (which mean money loss) and increasing the high quality livestock which have proven themselves successful. The same goes for agriculture. Cloning will also hopefully be able to preserve endangered species, which-as a side note- are usually endangered due to human activity, so that is another reason why cloning humans is not a bright idea. By saving endangered animals, or even recreating already extinct species, humans have the chance to give back to nature and increase biodiversity (Smith, 2000). The phrase “cloning can increase biodiversity” may represent an oxymoron to readers however, this statement, although very ironic, is accurate. By cloning plants and animals (whom might be rare), it gives the ecosystems a chance to breed with the cloned organisms and produce more genetically diverse offspring as the cycle continues. Cloning is not a matter of developing more humans; it is a way to preserve organisms that have, in the past, proven to be beneficial for the human population and the Earth.

    Sources:
    Marchione, M. (2013, December 7). Blood cancer breakthrough: Doctors see success using gene therapy. CTVNews. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/blood-cancer-breakthrough-doctors-see-success-using-gene-therapy-1.1579315

    Smith, L., Bordignon, V., Babkine, M., Fecteau, G., & Keefer, C. (2000, May 21). Abstract. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476349

  4.    Jordan Charles — April 15, 2014 @ 7:43 pm   

    Re: Maddy Evans April 9, 2014
    Addressing the statement, “in the near future if scientists are able to find successful ways of practicing this method,” it should lead to the question: should cloning become a practiced method. Not only is cloning full of risks and unpredictable, but it is unfair and immoral to the clone.
    Procedures involving cloning have caused many people to die. Cloning does not only risk the clone’s life but it also risks the donor’s life as well. The entire procedure is an experiment, and on the off chance that cloning will work, the clone now has a shorter life expectancy because they were born with adult cells. This is a violation against the clone’s right to life a long healthy life (CONS). Also as a side note, cloning will take away the respect humans have for life as they will then see life as replaceable (CONS). Ethical issues should not be ignored when it comes to procedures like this.
    CONS. (n.d.). CONS. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.as.wvu.edu/~kgarbutt/EvolutionPage/Studentsites/cloningpage/CONS2.html

  5.    Jordyn MacDonald — April 16, 2014 @ 5:22 pm   

    In rebuttal to Maddy on the statement that, cloning has more beneficial factors than risk, pushes me to address that the risks are far to serious to ignore. Cloning of plants, animals, cells, organs and humans is a huge step up for technology as it continuous to advance. Some say that cloning is a possible new era, but with cloning there are many risks. Regarding animals and cloning, there has been many attempts on animals to clone and many of them have resulted in death of the animals. Some however have been successful like the most famous one of Dolly the sheep, although shown that cloning can work it also showed that many sheep before Dolly had died from the attempt of cloning. Cloning could be seen as a good thing if certain species are endangered but what if cloning that certain species doesn’t work in the long run and just more of that species is killed off.
    With humans there are some huge risk factors involved such as the possibility of faster aging because that clone they are making is likely an older cell being used, therefore an imprinted age on the growing embryo and also potentially premature death(HSF). There is also the issue of reduced sense of individuality, even though it is considered a brand new life the clone is just a twin of something or someone else.(HSF). The big question about cloning though is; will it reduce our overall value of human life? Some can question if cloning of humans itself questions the role of God and even the quality of life.
    Therefore; cloning has too many risks and “what ifs” that need to be weighed out before proceeding any further.

    Heath Research Funding. (December 6. 2013).Retrieved April 16th 2014. ” Pros and Cons of Human Cloning”.http://healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-human-cloning/

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

© 2014 Funston Science   Provided by WPMU DEV -The WordPress Experts   Hosted by Edublogs.org