Some uses of this technology include:-
- Medicine – drugs and treatments
- Agriculture – genetically modified livestock for better nutritional benefits
- Prevention of the extinction of endangered species of animals
Some uses of this technology include:-
1. Unethical – Unethical as people feel that it is a violation of basic human ethics. Those who oppose to cloning feel that scientists are “playing God” by creating a living thing. There is a potential for abuse. If human cloning became a reality what checks and balances would be put in place to prevent abuse? Would scientists go overboard with the technology? If a couple has a clone that they are not happy with, what would they do next? These are all questions that must be raised in any discussion on cloning. Some have expressed the view that clones could be grown in a farm-like fashion simply for harvesting organs or stem cells. The potential for devaluing human life cannot be ignored.
2. Uncertainty – Uncertainty as to how the clone will turn out. Often the clone turns out unhealthy, stillborn or severely disabled. Also, while the cloning of Dolly was seen as a success story, many embryos were destroyed before the desired result was achieved. The process started with 277 eggs, and Dolly was the single successful outcome. Regardless of success in other areas, the field of cloning still has a long way to go. Infertile couples for example, could go through the same heartache as they would if in vitro fertilization failed.
3. Inherit Diseases – Clones inherit diseases of the original copy. Cloning creates a copy of the original. A human clone would therefore inherit the genetic traits of its predecessor. This includes genetic abnormalities and diseases. Dolly the sheep for example exhibited signs of what some suggested were premature aging, although this was firmly denied by her ‘developers’.
1. Benefits to modern medicine:- Even today, the full potential of stem cells has not been fully explored. The issue of stem cells has led to controversy because embryos are generally used and they have to be destroyed for the cells to be used. However, a number of researchers believe that stem cells will eventually change the face of medicine as we know it. Given the fact that the cells can be manipulated to mimic other types of cells, this can provide new ways to treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
2. Animals can be used for a supply of organs for transplant:- Cloning also offers hope to persons needing organ transplants. People requiring organ transplants to survive an illness often wait years for a suitable donor. In many cases these patients die waiting, as there are long lists of people requiring organs. Theoretically, cloning could eliminate this by producing more animals that can act as suitable donors. Pig livers have been successfully transplanted to human beings, as an interim measure until a human liver is found. Additionally, cloning of these animals not put a burden on the world’s food supply.
3. Infertile couples can have children:- The infertile through cloning have the chance to have a child of their own. Infertile women can have their own babies with the help of this technique by implantion of the cloned babies into their bodies. This can eliminate the mental and physical pains among the infertile couples.
4. Reverse the process of aging:- Cloning is being touted as a future answer to reverse the effects of aging. The anti-aging market is a prime target because it is already a multibillion industry.
5. Prevent animals from becoming extinct or endangered- Despite the best efforts of conservationists worldwide, some species are nearing extinction. The successful cloning of Dolly represents the first step in protecting endangered wildlife.
6. Improve food supply:- Clones of animals and plants can be more resistant to diseases and of better quality. Cloning could provide a means of cultivating plants that are stronger and more resistant to diseases, while producing more. The same could happen to livestock as well where diseases such as foot and mouth disease could be eradicated. Cloning could therefore effectively solve the world’s food problem and minimize or possible eradicate starvation.