Essay: Cloning whole organisms

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This paper will discuss the subject of ‘Cloning Whole Organisms’. It will discuss definitions, the history of cloning, types of cloning, methods used to clone, species that have been cloned, as well as the advantages vs disadvantages of cloning. Also included are ethical problems with cloning whole organisms, and current legislation regarding this subject.
HISTORY OF CLONING:
Many people may think cloning is a recent scientific interest, but actually scientists began to experiment in the 1950-60’s with cloning. They first used nuclear transfer to clone tadpoles in the 1950’s. Since those days, many other life forms have been cloned in laboratories and many technological advances have been made in this field. Scientists have been able to clone mice, pigs, goats, cats, rabbits, rats, mules, deer, horses, and even cattle.
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/ in other word that ‘Cloning has been a growing and flourishing topic many scientist are researching it now a days. Since the 1950’s scientist have been able to clone tadpoles with nuclear transfer. Later in the 1980’s scientists had discovered how to make clones by cutting embryos in half. This was named ‘artificial cloning’.
In 1997 when Ian Wilmut and his group at the Roslin Institute in Scotland cloned a sheep (Dolly) from an adult mammary gland cell it was a major breakthrough, but Dolly died after four years because the cell used for cloning was already halve way through its DNA replication.’
That’s one of cloning’s problems, when scientists clone using original cells, these newly created cloned cells can only survive the original cell’s lifespan (or about 1/2 of a normal cell life).
Dolly is one of the more famous cloned animals, but there have been a variety of cloned animals who shared her similar fate due to problems with the genetic cloning of their vital organs. http://bsp.med.harvard.edu/node/17 stated in other words that ‘Animals that are cloned and what happened to a majority of them is they didn’t live thru birth, though 1of 277 did live. One ‘famous’ cloned sheep was named “Dolly”. She had several health problem from birth.
Health problems happen with the genetic cloning of vital organs and can sometimes malfunctions. Also, these cloned animals can frequently have premature births, and can also die at very young ages. Many diseases exist that makes cloning a very difficult thing to do successfully.’
DEFINITION/TYPES
What is cloning? Are there different types of cloning? What’s the difference between “whole cloning” and cloning just part of an organism? Here’s what the genome gov site has to say briefly about “Cloning”.
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15 stated in other words ‘Cloning whole organisms started back in the 1960’s and has advanced very quickly from a few people studying it, to a worldwide study. The term cloning means to a lot of different methods in which the cells are copied in to identical cells. Cloning has been used to make genes, cells tissues, and even entire organisms from nothing but a cell.’
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cloning/whatiscloning/ also stated in other words that ‘There are many types of clones: like identical twins they look alike but are in some ways alike and sometimes different. Then artificial cloning, in artificial cloning the specimen are the exact same as the one they were copied – from same appearance and everything. In identical twins, labs are not needed, twins are made by nature not by humans, in the lab the specimen are made by taking a cell from the animal they cloned, putting it in an egg to be fertilized then put in a female until given born, there is a big difference in that.’
Cloning “Whole Organisms” has presented scientists with numerous challenges not encountered when cloning on a smaller scale like cloning cell tissues or gene cloning. Many of these still haven’t been resolved to anyone’s satisfaction.
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cloning/whatiscloning/ also stated in other words that ‘Cloning whole organisms is done by copying every single cell to make the new organisms, but in gene cloning it is a lot simpler because you just have to get a plasmid from the DNA, then translate it in to the copy of the gene. It has amazed and horrified many people of the ability to make clones of animals, and genes to help the human race to become more evolved.’
METHODS OF CLONING
How is cloning accomplished by scientists? What processes are used to create clones?
There are reportedly two scientific methods of cloning anything known currently to scientists,
“Artificial Twinning” and “Nuclear Transfer” (called ‘somatic cell cloning’ by some).
Both are described below here.
“ARTIFICIAL TWINNING”
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15 also stated in other words that ‘The process by which scientists would clone whole organism. Step one: first you will need a donor cell to give rise to the clone., Step two: get an egg from a female of the same species., Step three; to transfer genetic material of the creature where scientists will put the egg cell and the donor cell next to each other., Step four: Then the scientists use an electric pulse to make the cells fuse., After that the scientists have Divided the Embryo in the laboratory, made artificial twins., Step five; The cell implanted into another female animal which carries cloned child until birth.’ This method is one method of cloning called “artificial twinning.”
“NUCLEAR TRANSFER” (or called Somatic Cell Cloning)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC521203/ “Somatic cell cloning by nuclear transfer is relatively new technology with many potential applications. However, at the current stage of development nuclear transfer is still incomplete. Further efforts are needed to perfect this technology to its fullest potential.” Somatic cell cloning (cloning or nuclear transfer) is a technique where nucleus (DNA) of a somatic cell is transferred into an enucleated metaphase-II oocyte for a new individual, genetically identical to the somatic cell donor.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC521203/ The success of cloning an entire animal, Dolly the sheep, from a differentiated adult mammary epithelial cell created a revolution in science. It demonstrated genes inactivated during tissue differentiation can be completely re-activated by called “nuclear reprogramming”. Somatic cloning may be used to create multiple copies of genetically superior farm animals, to produce animals for pharmaceutical reasons, or to preserve endangered species. It also offers good biomedical potential for therapeutic cloning.In addition to its useful day-to=day uses, cloning is an important tool for studying gene function, several areas of genomic research, genetic diseases, and gene therapy, and many more important topics.
POSSIBLE ADVANTAGES OF CLONING:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC521203/
Somatic cloning may be used to generate multiple copies of genetically elite farm animals, to produce transgenic animals for pharmaceutical protein production or xeno-transplantation, or to preserve endangered species. It also could promise enormous biomedical potential for therapeutic cloning. In addition to its everyday common-sense use to improve life now, cloning has become a tool for studying many aspects of genes, including genetic diseases and gene therapy, as well as many other topics which can improve human lives..
One advantage of cloning is it could lead to easier survival of the species. It could also help in the discovery of new medicine for different species and assist us in learning more about current diseases, and which treatments are most effective. Maybe it could eliminate genetic inherited diseases and find ways to eradicate them some day.
POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES OF CLONING:
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cloning/whatiscloning/ also stated in other words that ‘One of the main problems with cloning whole organism is it could lead to deadly diseases, age faster, or even changes herbivores to carnivores. These types of changes can affect other animals` environments by eating all the plants of eating all the prey who knows.’
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15 also stated in other words that ‘There is also a throwback to cloning because stem cells and cancer cells are so close alike that there is a chance that after stem cells have gone through 60 cycles it could mutate into cancer cells causing great amounts of damage to the human, and maybe in the long run if they did not get help would die. So this makes people not like cloning because of the fear of getting cancer if you do use cloning to get a new body part or such.’
ETHICAL ISSUES (esp possible Human Whole Cloning)
The ethical issues surrounding the topic of cloning mainly focus on human cloning, although some people have explored ethical issues in animal cloning. (Because very little could be found free on the Web about the ethics of animal cloning)
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15 also stated in other words that ‘The ethics problems with cloning whole organisms…Many fears about cloning involve if the cloning will be done on humans so that’s one thing that interferes with cloning. People also don’t like the fact that the embryos in the test tubes have to be destroyed to get the stem cells to make the clones this deeply bothers people. Another thing that stops cloning from proceeding is religion which says it is wrong in their religions opinion, also societal beliefs disagree with it also. Many religious people object to creating human whole clones because they say it will be a “soul-less” creature.
CURRENT AND POTENTIAL USES FOR GENOME RESEARCH
Per http://www.genome.gov/10001872
Some current and potential applications of genome research include Molecular medicine, Energy sources and environmental applications, Risk assessment, Bio archaeology, anthropology, evolution, and human migration, DNA forensics (identification), Agriculture, livestock breeding, and bioprocessing
Also:
-Advancing Scientific Discovery through Genomics and Systems Biology
-The Department of Energy (DOE) Genomic Science program supports systems biology research that identifying the basic principles in biological systems of plants, microbes, and multispecies communities relevant to DOE missions in energy and the environment. The program focuses on an approach that combines experimental physiology, analytical techniques, and computational modeling of functional biological networks.
OBJECTIVES
The program’s ultimate objectives are to: -Determine the molecular mechanisms, regulatory elements, and integrated networks needed to understand genome-scale functional properties of biological systems. -Develop experimental capabilities and technologies needed to achieve understanding of organism and community function. -Flexibly scale understanding of biological processes from individual organisms, assemblies of multiple organisms, or complex communities operating at ecosystem scales. -Understand foundational rules governing living systems and develop tools for better bio systems. -Develop the knowledgebase, computational infrastructure, and modeling capabilities to advance predictive understanding of biological systems.
Advancing knowledge of these systems bridges critical gaps that must be addressed to enable biological solutions. Development of approaches for sustainable bioenergy production will be accelerated by systems understanding of nonfood plants that can serve as dedicated bioenergy feedstock. Also, microbes capable of synthesizing next-generation biofuels.
Genomic Science program research uses the tools of modern systems biology to analyze interactions between organisms that form biological communities and their surrounding environments. Understanding the relationships between functional biology and ecosystem-scale environmental processes shows the basic mechanisms that drive the cycling of metals and nutrients, greenhouse gas emissions and other information in other important areas. As new understanding emerges, strategic emphasis will be placed on overcoming knowledge gaps and breakthroughs that most effectively address DOE mission-critical research objectives
ETHICAL DILEMMAS:
Perhaps, for some the many different viewpoints and associated ethical dilemmas might be the most confusing and difficult area of this entire situation. There is no doubt most of us want to help others. I think this is a question of what’re we willing to try or do if it might help others? Perhaps the question of how far to go if might possibly save a life? Where are the limits in a case like this? Above all, trying to decide what is the right and moral thing to do in this issue. To make decisions a person should keep an open mind, educate themselves on both sides, so they make sure they understand what they are supporting.
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/ethics.htm
The ethical issues surrounding the topic of cloning mainly focus on human cloning, although some people have explored ethical issues in animal cloning. (Because very little could be found free on the Web about the ethics of animal cloning, that is not included here for now). One distinction to keep in mind when reading ethical statements about human cloning is the difference between reproductive cloning (to produce a new human being or animal) and therapeutic cloning (now often referred to simply as somatic cell nuclear transfer) which creates an embryo for research or therapeutic purposes, such as to create stem cells, but not to implant into a mother.
In such a vitally important decision, all relevant information must be examined. So, below will be listed the opinions and objections of people around the world based on religious and even fear of science getting out of control.
General Resources:
Primer on Ethics and Human Cloning by Glenn McGee, Associate Director for Education, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Bioethics. Articles on ethics and cloning can be found on Bioethics.net which includes articles published in the American Journal of Bioethics.
This subject is controversial as anyone can see by reading the opposing views on Human Cloning below:
OPPOSING VIEWS ON HUMAN CLONING:
On Human Cloning: Three Views: from NOVA Online’s 18 Ways to Make a Baby (October 2001). Interviews with three different scientists who are experts in the field reveal their differing viewpoints on the ethics of human cloning.
Lee Silver, one of these scientists has also participated in several other previous interviews: PBS Frontline Interview with Lee Silver, 1999, and the Reason Magazine interview “Liberation Biology”.
The Center for Genetics and Society also presents viewpoints both pro and con for both reproductive and therapeutic human cloning.
President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics released its first publication in July 2002: Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry. Prior to that, the United States National Bioethics Advisory Committee on June 9, 1997 submitted a full report on cloning human beings including several commissioned papers by various experts and addressing scientific, religious, legal, and ethical considerations. This committee was dissolved in October, 2000.
The American Medical Association has an informational page and two reports from 1999 supporting a moratorium on human cloning research, “The Ethics of Human Cloning” and “Cloning and Embryo Research”. Their Code of Ethics states their separate stances on Cloning for Biomedical Research (“therapeutic cloning”) and Cloning to Produce Children (reproductive cloning).
Reproductive Cloning Network was the main site to find articles in favor of human cloning with links to news, commentary and discussion forums, but the site now appears to be taken down. The spokesman Randolfe Wicker, is also founder of the Clone Rights United Front, a pro-human-cloning activist site.
RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES:
Some thoughts of different religious and non-religious private groups on the morality of human cloning are presented here. Aside from the Roman Catholic Church which has a centralized authority, the perspectives within a single religious group are offered by different theologians and can vary.
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/ethics.htm
Church of Scotland, Science, Religion and Technology Project, Cloning and Stem Cells Home Page
“The Society, Religion and Technology Project was begun by the Church of Scotland in 1970, to address wider issues being raised by modern technology.” This group seeks balanced consideration of the ethical implications raised by new scientific findings, it informs the church of developments, and contributes to governmental ethical debates. The Cloning and Stem Cells Home Page addresses the ethics and morality of cloning humans and animals and is the best and most extensive Web site exploring cloning from a religious perspective.
The Roman Catholic Church
Several statement have been made by the Roman Catholic church condemning any attempt to clone humans. The Pontifical Academy for Life, founded by Pope John Paul II, issued this reflections on cloning and AmericanCatholic.org has a page on Cloning and Catholic Ethics.
Some Jewish Perspectives on Cloning:
Cloning by Rabbi Shraga Simmons from the aish.com Web site
The Ethics of Cloning by Daniel Eisenberg, M.D. from The Institute for Jewish Medical Ethics Cloning People and Jewish Law: A Preliminary Analysis from the Jewish Law Home Page by Rabbi Michael Broyde of Emory University
Some Islamic Perspectives on Cloning
Islamic Perspectives on Cloning by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, University of Virginia.
Islamic View on Cloning Recommendations of the 9th Fiqh-Medical Semin
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15 also stated in other words that ‘The ethics problems with cloning whole organisms… Many fears about cloning from humans are if the cloning will be done on humans so that is one thing that interferes with cloning. People also don’t like the fact that the embryos in the test tubes have to be destroyed to get the stem cells to make the clones this deeply bothers people. Another thing that stops cloning from proceeding is religion which says it is wrong in their religions opinion, also societal beliefs disagree with it also.’
LEGALLY
Due to many people’s concern that this techonology could be mis-used or is morally wrong, laws have been passed against cloning humans and some other cloning activities.
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/laws.htm stated in other words ‘Another wall that cloning faces is the US government has made a law against cloning humans, they have also made laws against cloning certain species, because the US, and other countries also have ethics that thinks it is wrong, but there are many things that can help other species than humans to make the world better.’ paraphrased from http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/laws.htm
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/ Of course, the issue of cloning has brought up many legal and ethical issues, both for animal cloning and for human cloning. Two types of cloning are being discussed nowadays in relation to humans: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. It is important to understand the difference in order to follow ethical and legal discussions.
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/ Cloning of organisms, like many new technologies, is controversial because it is difficult to predict what good or bad could come from it.
Unfortunately many people are misinformed about the different types of cloning, and misinformation is spread by rumor and on the Web. Even people making policy decisions are sometimes swayed by scientifically unproven reports.
It is important that everyone educate themselves about the topic using reliable sources of information so that sound decisions can be made about the future.
One distinction to keep in mind when reading ethical statements about human cloning is the difference between “reproductive cloning” (to produce a completely new human being or animal that never existed before) and “therapeutic cloning” (now often referred to simply as “somatic cell nuclear transfer”) which creates an embryo for research or therapeutic purposes, such as to create stem cells, but not to implant into a mother and result in the birth of a baby.
Work Cited
http://www.genome.gov/25020028#al-15
http://bsp.med.harvard.edu/node/17
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cloning/whatiscloning/
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/laws.htm
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/skendall/cloning/
aish.com

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