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Human cloning.

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Introduction

Human cloning People define cloning in different ways, some people define it as a method that produces a baby with the same genes as its parents whereas other people may have a broader view, which includes producing tissues and organs in cultures as well as producing embryos to be born. The Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997 defines cloning as the production of a precise genetic copy of a molecule, cell, tissue, plant, animal or human.' In this essay I shall look at the broader definition of cloning. I will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of human cloning. Therapeutic cloning is the creation of human embryos in a laboratory so that certain cells can be removed and grown in to body tissue. Genetic material is taken from a cell in an adult's body and fused with an empty egg cell. This causes an embryo to grow. This embryo contains cells, which have the potential to develop into any one of the 216 cell types that make up the body. When eggs are fertilised and begin to divide the cells are all alike. ...read more.

Middle

Cloning would allow infertile couples or couples who stand a high chance of producing children with genetic defects, to have children of their own. It's argued that clones wouldn't really be duplicates, as environmental factors would mould the clones into individuals. Although there's lots of advantages people disapprove of human stem cell research because they feel it's immoral and unethical. An argument against human cloning is no one is sure it's safe and it may create defects in the human gene pool. Many people are worried about the effect cloning would have on society, they are worried that cloning may be used for eugenics- people may try to create a superior breed of people. Another argument against cloning is that it's against Gods will and humans don't have the right to dabble with nature. '30 years from now, scientists will be growing whole hearts, livers and even limbs' (New scientist- Aug. 2000). Anthony Atala (urologist in children's hospital in Boston) and his team have grown artificial bladders for dogs in 6 weeks. Its thought embryonic stem cells could be used to make a complex organ in a lab, which could be transplanted, to humans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cloning is something, which could be helpful in finding ways to cure diseases. If we start to clone humans there may be defects and diseases in the offspring. There is too much we don't know about what effect cloning would have on the offspring. Its been suggested that with human cloning it would be possible "to toss aside the uniqueness of humanity and trash the concept of human dignity" (Dr. Bohlin- " The natural limits to biological change"). Another critical question concerns the life span of clones. All cells have a built in senescence (death) after a certain number of cell divisions; e.g. a normal life span for an ewe is around 11 years. It's possible that Dolly could die younger as her cells have gone through embryological development twice. But it could be that Dolly's cells were reprogrammed from mammary cell functions back to embryological functions. Therefore the senescence clock was reset, allowing dolly to have a normal life span. Society has to be careful, as we don't really know what cloning can really bring us. By trying to clone humans we could cause devastating effects - no one knows how cloning could effect the human gene pool. ...read more.

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