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In this coursework I am going to investigate the different characteristics of cloning, how it came to be, the methodologies and how it works, and, in the process, determine its significance to humans.

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Introduction

The importance of cloning In this coursework I am going to investigate the different characteristics of cloning, how it came to be, the methodologies and how it works, and, in the process, determine its significance to humans. Introduction There are several meanings being attached to cloning today and they cause confusion and uncertainty. However, the general definition that most scientists use in describing cloning is the one that is relevant to the different processes for duplicating a biological material. Hence, the definition covers both the artificial and natural processes. Cloning by artificial means is the one most popularly identified with cloning: It is the creation of a clone scientifically, that is, by some conscious design or human interruption. Contrary to widespread belief, cloning can be considered a natural process, too. Natural cloning has been going on for billions of years. Natural cloning occurs when an organism reproduces asexually or when two genetically identical twins are produced by a splitting of a fertilized egg. For example, when one takes a stem from a yam plant and plant it in the ground, a new plant would grow as it takes root. The new plant can be considered a clone in the sense that it is identical to its parent. Similar cloning takes place in grass, potatoes and onions. This is a technique for producing plants asexually. Humans have been using this vegetative technique in agriculture for thousands of years. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, therapeutic cloning is the production of human embryos for use in research. The third type of cloning called replacement cloning exists in theory, and is a combination of therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Replacement cloning is the replacement of damaged, failed, or failing body through cloning caused by brain transplant. Ethical issues have arisen particularly in the area of therapeutic cloning as it is the most widely used cloning technology today. Some people have considered the idea of growing and harvesting organs separately from a human as intrinsically wrong because in doing so a new organ supply could be made without any moral consideration for the human organisms being harmed. Why undertake Human Cloning? The implication of human cloning is important in several areas. Most important of this is that cloning is seen as a chance to cure incurable diseases. For instance, scientists could clone our genes in order to fix cells that cause diseases. This is demonstrated in the field of therapeutic cloning - the process by which a person's DNA is used to grow an embryonic clone, but, instead of putting the embryo into a mother, its cells are used to grow stem cells. During the cloning process, there is a stage wherein the cells begin to change and develop into different types of cells that divide and grow to form the different organs. At this point they are harvested in an effort to produce genetically identical organs such as renal, cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue in a larger or adult animal to replace damaged ones. ...read more.

Conclusion

People are torn between two valid arguments: one side points out that cloning goes against morality while the other stresses the fact that it offers very important opportunities for us in terms of solving problems such as hunger and diseases - factors that threatens human survival. The stem cell technology, for instance, is particularly helpful to us because it has the potential to save millions of lives and cure many people from diseases. One day, human cloning may inevitably be allowed, however the valid questions being raised by critics must be addressed first. In addition, we need to think about the human cloning and its cost - whether the whole technology is worth it. Although the cloning of animals may be very important to prevent starvation or that it would contribute to the discovery of cures for diseases, there are still problems that must be addressed particularly in the area of safety. Evaluation of References Two of the most interesting references that I have used for this report include the online site of the Human Genome Project and Kerry Lynn Macintosh's book called Human Cloning and Legal Rights. The Human Genome Project offers a wealth of information in regard to the cloning process and its numerous advantages. Data in regard to new developments in the field is also available. Macintosh' work, on the other hand, provides the information for the opposing side in the cloning debate. The statistics on the failed cloning experiments could be found here as well as the positions of several prominent personalities that oppose the technology including former US President George W. Bush opinion on the matter. ...read more.

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