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Cloning: medical breakthrough or step too far?

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Introduction

Cloning: medical breakthrough or step too far? Cloning is defined as making multiple copies of a DNA sequence, or making a clone of a organism (clone meaning "A cell, group of cells, or organism that are descended from and genetically identical to a single common ancestor, such as a bacterial colony whose members arose from a single original cell")(1). The act of cloning is carried out everyday in a human, plant or animal body. Cells undergo mitosis (which is cell division where the DNA is copied into the "daughter" cell to create a exact copy of itself, unless there is mutation) so they can heal the body. In Bacteria they multiply by Mitosis as well, but most often more quickly than in animal cells, making them a problem since they are harmful to the Body. Is cloning unnatural? Well, cloning can occur naturally in a greenhouse, the only interference being that of the owner "pruning" a shrug and planting the twigs in another pot and allowing them to grow as well, the "offspring" being exactly identical to its parent plant in every way, down to the DNA. ...read more.

Middle

Possible future uses for cloning are the cloning of individual body parts so they can be transplanted into humans whose own ones are failing, this advantage being that there would be little or no chance of the organ being rejected as it is the same genetic material of the patient. The cloning of entire humans could be possible too for this purpose.(5) How do you clone organisms? This is a difficult process as there is only one method really available to scientists at the moment. You would have to extract a cell from the original organism and place it into the egg cell of the species in question (if the donor of the DNA is male, if not then the females eggs can be used for this purpose), then stimulated into growth inside the egg cell, eventually producing a clone. This has been achieved in sheep and a couple of other animals but has never been achieved in humans. Reasons for the lack of progress in human cloning is because some people object to it on either religious or moral arguments, ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of the main arguments for cloning are that it could provide babies for infertile couples who wish to have children but cannot do so on their own, Clone pets or rare species for the preservation of the species involved, reproduce expensive breeding animals before they die so that they can sustain food production, and the transplant of hearts and other organs so potentially life threatening injuries could be easily avoided. (4) Conclusions that can be drawn from these arguments are that further research needs to be made in order for cloning in humans to effectively and efficiently take place with minimal, or even no risk of DNA being damaged or mutated so that the clones will be useless. Until that time Cloning should continue on under research until it is legal to test the process on humans. Resource list: 1. Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary, Cambridge University Press, 2002 2. http://afgen.com/clon17a.html 3. Cloned stem cells may give new lease of life, Sylvia Pag´┐Żn Westphal, New Scientist, November 02 4. http://www.reproductivecloning.net/Articles/rebuttal.html 5. Advanced Biology, Michael Kent, 2000, pages 408 & 409 6. http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/A/AsexualReproduction.html ...read more.

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