Proponents of cloning claim it can cure illnesses, speed recovery from injuries and prolong human life. Critics cite medical, ethical and legal concerns. Opinions about the technology are based on religious and moral, as well as scientific, beliefs.Know More
Cloning allows for the replacement of diseased or damaged human cells, enabling people to maintain health and perhaps live longer. By removing defective genes, inherited diseases and mutations can be eliminated. Athletes and accident victims recover faster from injuries when their cloned cells take the place of damaged tissues. Infertile people could even clone their cells to create children, according to HeathResearchFunding.org.
Some critics of cloning consider it "playing God" to create a living organism in a laboratory. They say such acts threaten to diminish individuality and the value of human life. They note that cloning could be abused for illegal purposes. Among the possible unintended health outcomes are adverse medical reactions and shortened lives. Opponents of cloning point out that Dolly the cloned sheep died at a young age after contracting a rare disease, states HealthGuidance.org. Cloning opponents predict prejudice and class divisions. Cloned humans would likely be treated as property, which can be bought and sold. Their legal and civil rights, and place in society, would differ from those of "real" people.Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA
The first idea for cloning came about in 1938 when Hans Spermann suggested an experiment where one would replace the nucleus of an egg with another cell and grow a new specimen from that. Cloning has now moved on from frogs and rabbits to sheep and dogs.Full Answer >
Gene cloning occurs when a specific gene from a strand of DNA has been extracted and copied from an organism. Nearly any tissue source can be used for cloning, as long as there is not widespread degradation. DNA can also be extracted from RNA using a process called reverse transcription.Full Answer >
The National Institutes of Health defines therapeutic cloning as cloning an embryo only for the purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. Therapeutic cloning aims to create stem cells for the express purpose of experiments so that researchers gain a better understanding of disease and work to develop effective treatments for diseases in humans.Full Answer >
Cloning is a controversial matter due to inherent ethical, philosophical and religious questions involved, such as diminishing the uniqueness of the individual and the chance of biological failure, as seen in mammalian experiments. A cloned human being's family, for example, is unlikely ever to see him as the original.Full Answer >