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Ethics of Human Cloning
Two Major Types of Cloning
In the 1980 epoch, numerous scientists initiated researching formulas of cloning the high order animals, particularly mammals (Kass 2002, p. 7). The heightening success of their research and experiments has resulted into pervasive discussion over the probability of human cloning. This discussion has elicited extensive disagreements within the scientific society and the entire public over whether the research of human cloning is right. The two major techniques of cloning animals of higher order are subject to widespread scientific study.
One method occurs naturally to some humans when a woman bears triplets or twins. This occurs when the zygote or fertilized egg, when in the initial development stages divides into detached units (McLaren, 2002 p. 25). These parts then grow into identical and genetically matching persons. Scientists stimulated such an artificial process in cattle. Researchers in Washington DC conducted trials on human twinning by artificial means. The researchers willingly performed cloning on embryos that were genetically abnormal and had no survival chances.
Nuclear transplantation is the other cloning technique. In this method, the cloning specialist transfers the nucleus of a living cell to an egg or fuses the nucleus with it. The egg itself does not have a nucleus. When most people discuss the issue of human cloning, they envisage use of some sort of nuclear transplantation. Since September 2000, this activity has never or no one knows if it has ever occurred (McLaren, 2002 p. 39). For a long period, numerous scientists have affirmed that application of nuclear transplantation to build a clone from a mature mammal cell was impractical due to alarming biological obstructions. Since all mammalian cells contain similar complete genetic information as the foremost-fertilized egg, they have developed to specialization. When cells develop, some genetic information is regularly turned on and off for the formation of skin cells, nerve cells, blood cells and other kinds of cells.
The major barricade to scientists' success in cloning human beings was the lack of knowledge of assimilating and reprogramming cells. Their aim would be subdividing a cell, developing it into a whole animal, and not reprogramming the cell to produce more cells. In 1980 and 1990, scientists managed to clone mammalian cells through nuclear transplantation, but the experiments they performed used cell nucleus from developing embryo and not from grown animals (McLaren, 2002, p. 35).
Early in 1997, various researchers from Scotland shocked the world by affirming that their team had successfully cloned a sheep by application of nuclear transplantation (Kass, 2002 p. 73). The clone, referred as Dolly had three female parents. The scientists used the nucleus of a cell from an udder of one sheep and fused it with another enucleated egg from the second female and the inseminated the resultant embryo into the uterus of the third sheep. Immediately, Dolly became renowned and a celebrity. She reproduced through normal reproductive processes proving that she was a complete functional unit.
The scientists who architecture Dolly refuted intention of cloning human beings, claiming the purpose of their imminent research was to boost methods of bulk production of genetically matching animals. The announcement however fueled public criticism centered on the issue of cloning humans. A poll stipulated that a majority of people greatly disapproved cloning of human beings. Numerous scientists and bioethicists were firmly disapproving human cloning. The Roman Catholics summoned a global ban on human cloning. President Clinton initiated a federal funding of research on cloning.
Responding to the heightened public concern, the NBAC, an expert team that Clinton created to explore and study ethical concerns surrounding the biotechnology body got into task to investigate the matter. After receiving testimonies from ethicists, religious bodies, scientists and other parties, NBAC suggested a five-year continuation of the announced federal funding on cloning research that cloning specialists had designed to form a human child (Kass, 2002 p. 65). NBAC further announced a cessation of research on cloning of human tissues and cells.
The ethical queries numerous people have raised regarding human cloning pose on several levels. Some opposition surrounds the safety of the human cloning experimental procedures. Cloning is nevertheless not a foolproof process. Scientists took 277 trials to form Dolly (MacKinnon, 2001, p.3). The fused egg gametes did not develop successfully and in other cases, the fused gametes had abnormalities that appeared hazardous during gestation. The instance of a dichotomous success/failure ratio…[continue]
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