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Animal cloning

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INTRODUCTION A clone is a genetic copy of another living organism -animal, plant or human. Animal cloning is a widely discussed issue in our society today. The question now is whether the Australian government should ban animal cloning. Many opinions are generated from this subject, such as the justifiability of cloning, and how far it should go. Religious views are prevalent, so too are numerous ethical concerns. The issue of whether or not the government should ban cloning has gained progressive attention, as the science of animal cloning is further perfected. BIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND Animal cloning is the process of creating a biological replicate of another organism with the exact genetic makeup of the original individual. Two processes can be used to obtain clones. The first process is called "embryo splitting." In the laboratory, an embryo is created by joining a sperm cell from a male animal donour, with an egg cell from a female animal donour. The embryo begins to divide into two cells, and these cells are separated and implanted in different foster mothers. This process has been successful in the cloning of mammals such as cattle, pigs, rabbits, mice, sheep and goat. ...read more.


Cloning technology may be used to create genetically modified animals that imitate the behaviour or responses of the human body, that is, animals that are susceptible to human diseases. Scientists view this as a very beneficial way of testing the effectiveness of drugs on such an animal model which could lead to a discovery of drugs, vaccinations or inoculations for many diseases. However, in this situation, there is an ethical intolerance amongst society to clone animals purely for the medical benefit of humans. Others claim that scientific and technological advances should not be hindered, as it is unfair to limit the use of animals if such experimentations can lead to medical treatments. Even though the cloning of genetically modified animals could initiate countless breakthroughs in the medical world, there is also the risk of transferring animal diseases into humans, and this is a concern that many people have. Cloned animals could be used in livestock production. It allows breeders to take animals with desirable traits and successfully have these traits reproduced in the offspring. It could be used to create a dairy cow that produces milk with a high protein content or low saturated fat content, which has a potential to benefit human health, perhaps even to create a population of sheep that has high quality wool. ...read more.


Cloning differs from God's command to "be fruitful and multiply." Other people believe that this technology is going too far and interferes with the course of nature. When dealing with cloning, a high level of genetic variation must be maintained. People are concerned that if the genetic "pool" is narrowed to a limited number of lines, there may be problems from in breeding. However, enthusiasts enforce that although this might be a disadvantage to a particular country, the vast majority of people who keep livestock (millions in the third world) cannot afford cloning -thus, the genetic variation will be maintained. Nevertheless, there still might be limits to how useful cloning can be. In September 2001, an Australian Parliamentary committee recommended a ban on creating human embryos for research purposes only and a ban on human reproductive cloning. However, the creation of cloned embryos through the process of nuclear transfer was excluded from the ban recommendation. Hence, there is a strong potential for animal cloning in the near future. The National Stem Cell Centre is an Australian alliance of biologists, medical practitioners and companies working to realize the potential of stem cell research and cloning technology. Their research is very beneficial in determining the effectiveness of animal cloning technology- its management, uses, control, advantages and disadvantages. WORD COUNT: 1247 ...read more.

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