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Human cloning

Brief History

In 1952, the first successful animal cloning took place when Robert Briggs and Thomas J. Ruler cloned a tadpole. After almost four ages, the first cloned mammal, a sheep called Dolly, was born in 1996. Following a creation of Dolly, experts began to think about producing individual clones. However, scepticism and hesitation commenced to expand among experts when Dolly died at age six in 2003. This event, combined with the spiritual community's disapproval of individual cloning, led to the enactment of the Man Cloning Prohibition Action of 2009. Regarding to this laws, individual cloning is unethical, immoral, and unlawful; hence, it is illegitimate. Today, human being cloning is prohibited in 23 countries. Nevertheless, pro-cloning experts and researchers would like to legalise individual cloning to be able to progress research and achieve more in this field (Naik, 2010).

Introduction

'Do not drop for or against cloning until you have consulted it' explained David Clear in the New Statesman (2000).

What Michael Bay, the Hollywood director, eloquently shows in his sci-fi film, 'The Island, ' is what many people in the 21st century are debating. This movie brilliantly portrays the type of influences a human cloning stock can have on culture. A mother becomes pregnant and provides her baby, but her life will be terminated by scientists because she is just a clone of the original mother who cannot become pregnant or who did not want to undergo the pain of being pregnant. The individuals cloning technology that is shown in the movie has not been reached yet. However, what this movie is trying showing is the selfishness of mankind who is willing to invest considerable amounts of profit order to create genetically indistinguishable reproductions of themselves and massacre the self-made clones to fulfil their own goals in real life expecting, undergoing body organ transplantation, etc.

This is one of the most controversial issues nowadays. After creation of Dolly (the sheep clone) by Ian Willmut and co-workers at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, which was a great success in dog cloning, the argument about the concept of cloning, both scientifically and ethically, was raised among scientists (Bose, 2009). However, the primary question today is whether humans should be cloned or not. In order to realise why some views are against plus some are because of this issue, it is important to learn some background about this theory first.

Background

The simplest description of individual cloning is that it's the production of an replicate (clone) of an individual asexually and without the fertilisation of sperms and eggs (Bose, 2009).

The technique found in cloning is called 'somatic (non-sex) cell nuclear copy' (SCNT). Through SCNT, the nucleus of any egg is removed and substituted by the nucleus of the donor (who wants to be cloned), which is already isolated from the donor cell. An electrical impact (or, sometimes, the use of chemicals) results in the fusion of the donor nucleus and the host egg, which, in turn, starts the cell department process. If the cell division extends to a certain limit (blastocyst developed), it is embedded in the surrogate mother's uterus by in vitro fertilisation. This method of cloning, that was also used to set-up Dolly, is known as 'reproductive cloning' (Bose, 2009).

It is important to note that 'manufactured insemination', 'in vitro fertilisation (IVF), ' and 'cryopreservation' are known as standard reproductive cloning techniques. However, the aforementioned technologies involve erotic reproduction of the embryo, i. e. fertilisation of sperms and eggs. In cloning, SCNT technology is utilized in the first period to be able to asexually produce a zygote (with fusion, not fertilisation) and next through the in vitro fertilisation technique; the resultant blastocyst (early embryo) is implanted in the mother's womb only if the goal is to produce a individual (reproductiove cloning), normally the blastocyst is used to remove stem cells from it (therapeutic cloning) which these cells, in turn, expand into numerous kinds of cells, such as pancreatic or nerve cells as showed in Physique 2. (Wilmut et al. , 2001)

Another type of cloning is named 'restorative cloning. ' As described above, in this case, after the fusion of patient's (donor's) nucleus with the host's egg and development of blastocyst, the internal cell layer of the blastocyst, which is packed with undifferentiated stem cells, is utilized for stem cell research. Therefore, in healing cloning and unlike reproductive cloning, the embryo is not inlayed in to the mother's uterus and, instead, it is used to isolate stem cells from it as shown in Body 1 and 2 (Explorestemcells, 2010). These stem cells could then be utilized within different human body organs, such as the liver, heart, and epidermis. The good thing about using this method is that since the stem skin cells have been developed from the nucleus of the patient (i. e. , have the same hereditary information), the new developed body organ will be used to displace the dysfunctional patient's organ with no patient's body rejecting the new body organ (Bose, 2009).

Many scientists believe that, with restorative cloning and embryonic stem cell research, many disorders, especially degenerative stressed system diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can be treated. This is an extremely big promise that one can give to the mankind; however, the moral issues related to the study should not be neglected (Bose, 2009).

The benefits and problems of using both of these main types of cloning are usually more discussed in the 'medical issues' section down the road in this dissertation.

Nevertheless, there are important realities that must definitely be uncovered about individual cloning. It is important to understand that a clone can't ever be a perfect duplicate of the donor. But the genetic material in the nucleus of the donor is used to create the clone, the mitochondrial DNA of the donor is not handed onto the clone. Also, the environment and experiences that accumulates someone's character would be different for the donor and his/her clone (Bose, 2009).

Due to having less sexual reproduction of the clone, it would not have biological parents and he/she would always be called a clone of the DNA donor rather than a kid of the donor. However, like any other individual, it'll start its life as an infant despite the fact that it is produced from the cell of a grown-up (Bose, 2009).

The take action of human cloning (reproductive cloning) is banned in many countries today; however, some countries like the UK have legalised real human cloning research limited to healing purposes. Furthermore, even healing cloning is not completely allowed in many countries as the majority of the religious organisations are against diverting the fate associated with an embryo in any form and for any purpose (Bose, 2009).

The question that may be raised is why anyone would like to clone a man in the first place. You can find four different explanations why some people prefer to clone a defunct or living person.

  1. There are people who would like only to replicate themselves. This can be due to the fact that some might believe, by cloning themselves, they will become immortal somehow. This argument clearly shows that it is arisen from an incorrect interpretation of cloning. Others might want to be cloned just because they are simply vain.
  2. Some want to replace their deceased loved ones by cloning them. For instance, this could be parents who desire to clone a child and use the cloned child as an organ donor for his or her dying child or to replace that child.
  3. Others think that, with this technology, famous people can be recreated. A number of the nominees were Einstein, Mozart, Ghandi and Marilyn Monroe.
  4. Finally, individuals cloning may bring another option to offer an chance for infertile couples, including homosexuals, to own their own genetic child.

However, at the moment, none of these suggestions are technically practical. For example, of course, it is impossible to reproduce Ghandi as his DNA is probably decayed in the past. Nevertheless, what Ghandi performed throughout humankind made him the exceptional Ghandi alternatively than his genuine body (Wilmut et al. , 2001). As of yet, there has not been any success in cloning humans despite several announcements from different experts like Panayiotis Zavos in 2001 (Bose, 2009).

In the next sections, the professionals and downsides of human cloning will be discussed both in terms of ethical and scientific implications which will make it easier to formulate a logical opinion about this issue.

Discussion

Ethical issues

There are many ethical concerns, encircling real human cloning, and there is no consensus yet about these honest issues. A lot of the honest implications are theological concerns and various religious views that believe real human cloning is the function of changing what God desires and changing just how human babies would normally blessed. Many spiritual organisations think that the embryo must be considered as a individual and the take action of therapeutic cloning, where stem skin cells are extracted from the embryo, therefore, is equivalent to murdering a individual. Because of this belief, what many people are against about human being cloning is the action of terminating one person's life in order for another person to reside longer (Putatunda, 2007). This so-called 'instrumentalization' view claims, in regards to to therapeutic cloning, that embryos should not be treated as an instrument and become produced and then help others to survive, but they should have an possibility to experience the life like any other humans who were an embryo (Kuhse & Performer, 2006).

Many views matter the social problems that human cloning may create. You can find, without doubt that, a child who's created through cloning would face countless challenges in society. How such a child can increase up in a contemporary society where there are not--and never were--any parents for him/her is a genuine challenge. The unlawful misuse of this technology and insulting real human dignity by creating real human clones for other reasons can affect human ideals in culture in many harmful ways (Bose, 2009).

Some of the other morally argumentative conversations are raised from the inhumanity part of human cloning. A few of the main honest dilemmas are whether human beings have the to have children it doesn't matter how they are manufactured or whether it is moral to replace our defective organs with the new healthy ones from clones. Terminating the life of embryo in order to isolate stem cells from them in therapeutic cloning is condemned by some humanitarian organisations (Putatunda, 2007).

The next portions will discuss specific segments that relate with moral issues on individuals cloning. These sections cover a few of the main views on using embryos and stem skin cells in therapeutic purposes, and a brief overview of different perspectives on the idea of human dignity, autonomy, and reproductive cloning.

About embryos

The current UK rules and regulations state governments that embryos more than week or two old should not be used in research. This does not imply that a balostocyst more youthful than fourteen days shouldn't be respected. Actually, the rules evidently state that early on embryos should be utilized in research only when there are no alternatives, such as mature stem cells, and only with consent. A precise record keeping must also be completed to ensure that all embryos are cured the same (Wilmut et al. , 2007). On the other hand, from an alternative perspective and instead of what many theological organizations imagine, the embryo is merely a ball of cells and should not be considered to be a person. In other words, the embryo is not equal to a human being and, consequently of this, real human rights shouldn't apply to a couple of cells which have no brain, personality, figure, self-awareness, recollection, etc. Therefore, the action of therapeutic cloning is not immoral as it uses a bunch of cells which contain DNA like individuals skin cells to remove stem cells from and save a large number of lives. It only becomes incorrect when the embryo is starting to create a brain (mental life) and shows the looks of the capability to believe. However, at this time, an embryo is just a cluster of cells (Putatunda, 2007). Therefore, whilst many people believe that an embryo has the potential to become real human and, hence, must be respected, others believe this does not mean that just because the embryo has this potential and must be authorised to have the same privileges as a person. As John Harris mentioned in The Value of Life, "We all have been potentially useless but that will not mean we should be treated as though we are dead" (Wilmut et al. , 2007).

As a result of this, many scientists justify the utilization of blastocysts in research. Nevertheless, this, subsequently, raises other uncertainties like whether the blastocyst is aware or if the blastocyst seems pain (Wilmut et al. , 2007).

Therapeutic cloning and stem cells

In order to rationally check out the ethical issues surrounding healing cloning using embryonic stem skin cells in research and remedy, it is important to briefly check out some of the main ethical issues increased over the past few years.

Technically, stem cells can be isolated from adults (e. g. pores and skin), from umbilical cable blood vessels, from foetal tissue, and from embryonic structure. However, scientists think that embryos will be the best sources of stem skin cells for healing cloning today. Therefore, this increases the question of whether, in future, embryos will be created merely to be utilized as a source to harvest stem cells. Another issue that has been increased by the Western Group on Ethics is the girl right since mothers are the means essential to create embryos. There are also issues about the anonymity and security of the donors and the confidentiality of these hereditary information. The commercial uses and transportation of the donated tissue and genetic material globally, that could bring about many criminal circumstances are necessary issues which are linked to individuals safety and security and must be attentively considered (Kuhse & Vocalist, 2006). A similar debate happens to be taking place, in the UK, on whether everyone's DNA must be kept on the data source or only criminal's DNA.

"Replication" not "reproduction"

With regard to reproductive cloning, since creating a person using SCNT technology is a process of replication rather than reproduction, some assume that this isn't natural and completely disregards individuals dignity. However, this may be considered a kind of eluding strategy that especially political systems would use nowadays in order to avoid the controversial quarrels that surround an issue, such as individual cloning. It is always easier to justify a banning policy by claiming that a particular law is issued anticipated to breaching individuals dignity moralities alternatively than basing it on religious views (Caulfield, 2003).

Eugenics, human being dignity and autonomy

In addition, the "autonomy" and "uniqueness" of an individual are other factors that must be considered. The genetic information of a person is what makes the person unique and different from others. Through the individuals dignity defender's perspective, who consider autonomy and uniqueness will be the precursors of individual dignity, the work of reproductive cloning not only disregards the clone's autonomy, but it addittionally ruins the uniqueness of the donor, which is undesirable and immoral. Again, some might say these arguments are scientifically incorrect as genome's role in individual uniqueness is merely in conditions of individual appearance and not personalities in conditions of determining individuals. Hence, the function of copying someone's genome does not necessarily wreck his/her uniqueness or his/her individuals dignity. For instance, equivalent twins' dignity and uniqueness are not jeopardised only because of experiencing equivalent genomes (Williamson, 1999).

Reproductive cloning

Apart from the public and spiritual views, some scientist involved in cloning and embryology studies like Ian Wilmut and Richard Gardner have clearly explained some of the serious ethical problems that individual cloning can bring about. For example, in regards to to the action of reproductive cloning, there is still lack of sufficient and reasonable amount of knowledge to be able to clone a human being (as explained below).

Reproductive cloning has yet to be completely proved by scientists. Even through the process of creating Dolly, 272 embryos were lost. In other words, Dolly was created after wanting to clone a sheep 272 times. . This means that 272 embryos for various reasons were either not developed normally or were taken out for being imperfect. From those embryos that were developed properly, a few of them miscarried and a substantial number of the sheep born were severely abnormal and, consequently of this, passed away shortly after delivery or had to be euthanized (Wilmut et al. , 2001). As of yet, no clone including Dolly has resided to a ripe old age. Dolly was euthanized by lethal shot as she had been experiencing lung tumors and crippling arthritis and passed away at the age of six. This happened whilst most Finn Dorset sheep live to age 11 or 12. Just imagining treating a human embryo the same way would create so many honest dilemmas (HGPI, 2009).

Scientific issues

Human cloning is much less simple as just replicating a person. There are various scientific and technical obstacles to carrying out this research.

In conditions of science, real human cloning has its benefits and problems, especially therapeutic cloning. Among the main features of using stem cells isolated from embryos is usually that the skin cells are pluripotent. Which means that these cells have the ability to differentiate into any cell type in the body except embryo skin cells. Hence, pluripotent skin cells have the potential to grow and produce healthy organs or even to treat any body organ (tissue) diseases by changing defective cells; for instance, this could involve using pluripotent skin cells to replace abnormal red blood cells in sickle-celled anaemia disease or to replace damaged center tissue, thereby protecting against cardiovascular diseases (Explorestemcells, 2010).

Another major advantage of therapeutic cloning is the fact, as mentioned in the launch, since the patient's own hereditary material is utilized to produce the cloned embryo and stem cells isolated from it, the chance of rejection by the disease fighting capability of the individual during organ transplantation is reduced. In any other case, if the cells are from another donor, the patient's immune system would recognise the international proteins on the transplanted skin cells and start to attack these skin cells and reject the transplanted organ (Explorestemcells, 2010).

Therapeutic cloning can also help scientists to progress in stem cell research, which, subsequently, will open up many entrance doors to dealing with different diseases (Explorestemcells, 2010). Furthermore, gene remedy is one of the major development types of procedures that may be attained by cloning. Gene remedy allows the replacement of faulty and irregular genes with healthy and normal ones. Rejuvenation is another factor that lots of scientists believe may be accomplished through development of clone tissue (Pakhare, 2007).

One of the primary benefits of using reproductive cloning is infertility treatment. Through individual cloning technology, many infertile lovers can have a chance to have a kid without going through many painful steps that are currently used for infertile couples (Pakhare, 2007). That is due to the fact that, in reproductive cloning, the fusion of sex skin cells is not included and, instead, SCNT methods are being used.

However, many of these positive features described about real human cloning are only a theory like rejuvenation, and it is not completely approved by all experts. Real human cloning is not as simple as just replicating a person. There are various scientific and scientific obstacles to accomplishing this study. A number of drawbacks and risks from using real human cloning are talked about below.

Risks

One of the primary problems of using healing cloning is that the success rate in creating a viable egg is suprisingly low. As explained regarding Dolly, 277 SCNT attempts took location to create a stable, fused egg that led to a somewhat viable offspring. Statistics shows that almost 90% of the endeavors to produce practical animal clones have failed (Pakhare, 2007).

This demonstrates the cloning technology of today is not very highly advanced and the procedure of SCNT is much less easy as it may sound. It also means that cloning, especially with this high rate of failure, could be a very expensive strategy. It can take hundreds of endeavors and thousands or even millions of dollars to achieve a practical zygote (Explorestemcells, 2010).

Furthermore, the cloned family pets tend to perish prematurely after cloning. That is because of the fragile disease fighting capability, which results in the development of many disorders and infectious activities after creation, such as tumours, arthritis (in Dolly), etc. Some of the cloned animals pass away early because they may have 'Large Offspring Syndrome' where their organs are abnormal and often bigger than their counterpart's organs. This results in the disorganisation of metabolic activities, which, subsequently, leads to the development of many other disruptions and, ultimately, causes death (Pakhare, 2007).

Another risk of cloning that concerns experts is the telomere shortening device. Telomeres are DNA sequences located at either ends of chromosomes, which shorten in sequence each and every time DNA replication occurs. Hence, the entire length of chromosome is reduced after every replication. Studies also show that, as the pets' (or humans) get older increases, its telomeres deal further (Betts et al. , 2006). Therefore, the clone that arises from a nucleus, taken from a vintage donor through SCNT, must perish early as the chromosomes of this newly created clone are already old (Yang et al. , 2000). For example, in the case of Dolly, the chromosomes appeared to have been shrunk and, hence, it aged faster than its counterparts. However, this phenomenon is still not completely proven as, in some instances, such such as a cloned cow and a mouse, it has been seen that telomeres are very much longer than their counterparts (Pakhare, 2007).

Some more moral issues in science

The process of extracting stem cells from the embryo during therapeutic cloning ends in the damage of the embryo getting used. This is the key reason why many views are against stem cell research as they consider eradicating an embryo is the same as killing a individual. However, some people believe that equalising a cluster of cells with a individual is completely wrong and advantages of therapeutic cloning in relation to treatment of many diseases outweigh the disadvantages from it (Explorestemcells, 2010).

In addition, since reproductive cloning also uses SCNT to set-up an embryo, there is still the concern a scientist may take healing cloning further to clone a human being. As described above, no person has ever prevailed in cloning a individual; however, it continues to be alarming for the political, scientific, and religious neighborhoods that, with the existing understanding of cloning today, some may try to go beyond therapeutic cloning (Explorestemcells, 2010).

Possible future developments

As explained previously, the key issues surrounding real human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research are raised only due to the fact that the embryo is demolished along the way of extracting stem skin cells from it. If an alternative solution way to obtain non-embryonic pluripotent stem skin cells could be developed, this problem could be beat. This research is principally vital in the U. S. due to different plans that are elevated against the federal government funding of HESC research. Among the latest ways to address these alternative pathways is to apply the 'Altered Nuclear Transfer' (ANT) approach. Through ANT, the somatic cell nucleus and egg cytoplasm are modified first and, consequently via SCNT technique, the somatic nucleus is used in the egg. The benefit of this method is the fact it avoids the resultant zygote from producing the potential functions of becoming an embryo whilst all together allowing it to produce pluripotent stem cells. ANT has already been experimented on with mice by silencing the Cdx2 gene of the somatic cell nucleus before transferring it to the egg. The result was the production of non-embryonic biological entity that contained healthy and normal pluripotent stem skin cells. Other studies show that this is also possible by silencing Cdx2 genes in the egg prior to nuclear copy. Therefore, finding alternate ways are also possible solutions to get around this problem (Hurlbut, 2007).

Another proven fact that scientists brought forth for discourse after cloning Dolly that they hope to apply in medical centres in the near future is the idea of creating 'custom babies. ' This idea was mainly suggested to be able to help humankind utilizing the combo of nuclear transfer and genetic changes. This theory thinks that the prevention of children with severe hereditary disorders being delivered can be done by artificial selection of the best possible hereditary information, using hereditary executive and IVF techniques. Developer babies ensure the existence and absence of particular wished and unwanted genes ameliorating the offspring's characteristics (Steinbock, 2008). Since IVF was finally accepted by many general population organisations after extreme debate, the action of genetically modifying human embryos can also be accepted 1 day as tedious even if it's not applied on a large size. However, surely moral issues encircling this technology would make it difficult to transport on this strategy. Some assume that the 'developer babies' strategy, like individuals cloning, is "playing God. " Others believe this is a kind of prejudice and discrimination to disallow a disabled child to be given birth to. Many fear the negative long-term results that can have on modern culture. For instance, a child's sense of freedom might change realizing that his parents acquired interfered with his birth to change his natural labor and birth in a few ways (Wilmut et al. , 2007).

Nowadays, several other techniques are on offer to patients with genetic diseases in medical centres, such as gene remedy. Therefore, some individuals believe that the hereditary make-up of an individual should not be manipulated before beginning; however, it is okay to achieve that after birth, such as through gene remedy.

Conclusion

Having discussed some of the main moral and clinical issues, there are still some unreasonable and illogical criticisms about cloning which may have been raised because of the lack of understanding and understanding of this issue. Misconceptions about individual cloning in conditions of puzzling it with other biomedical and genetically-related techniques, such as 'creator infants' and 'genetic selection' ends up with fake information and view about this treatment. As opposed to what many people imagine, human cloning struggles to select perfect genes or making love and lead to a self-designed perfect human being. Therefore, so many arguments about real human cloning, especially religious ones that are based on these perspectives and similar information, are due to superficial and shallow thinking (Vaknin, 2003).

In conclusion, a government needs to completely analyse a concern like individual cloning before proposing different laws about it and banning it. Restricting research about the issue not only does not solve the trouble, but it addittionally makes the conflicts of this matter worse, and it may lead to the abstruse and key execution of illegal human being cloning.

I, too, have instinctive concerns regarding the request of reproductive cloning. I believe not only will this kind of cloning not have many scientific uses that can help humanity, but it also only brings internal and mental problems to culture. Therefore, there is absolutely no doubt why reproductive cloning must be forbidden and tightly governed.

Regarding stem cell research I really believe the ethical recommendations and restrictions must be discovered instead of banning the study completely. As mentioned in the context of this dissertation, there are numerous advantages that can be achieved through stem cell research that has to not be neglected. For example, in China, the investment in stem cell technology keeps growing whilst the instruction and rules relating to this review are also tightly controlled (Test, 2005).

Furthermore, using human being dignity and sanctity of life as the centre of the quarrels does not help logically analyse and research the benefits and drawbacks of the approach. As nobody is anti-human dignity, such arguments can only act as a barrier that will not allow further research of the technology. As Beyleveld and Brownsword observed (1998), "From any point of view that values rational debate about human being genetics, it can be an abuse of the idea of human dignity to operate it as a veto on any practice that is intuitively disliked".

Finally, we have to utilize advantages that technology may bring to mankind. As known by Wilmut et al, (2001), "Human cloning is currently on the spectral range of future opportunities - and we, more than anyone else, helped to place it there. We wish this weren't the case, but there it is and will remain for so long as civilisation will last. "

Of course, we may use alternatives if there are any, if the only way to save a large number of lives is to apply therapeutic cloning, so long as the benefits of such process outweighs the honest and moral issues, we need to rethink our insurance policies in conditions of what we ban and everything we limit.

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