The Advantages Of Animal Cloning Biology Essay

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Put yourself into the body of someone who is need of a vital organ. You are on a waiting list, but who knows when you will receive this precious organ. The doctor says the chances of receiving an organ donor are very low because of your rare genetic make-up. The thought of praying for another human to die, just so you can live, seems selfish, but today, the only way to receive an organ is from the death, or the chance of death, of another human being. Even then, the donor may not match. Imagine another scenario where you are in terrible need of a heart. The doctors do several tests to determine your genetic make-up, so they can find the right animal to match your needs. After replacing your heart with a pig heart, you recover and go on with everyday life. No one had to die, and you received your heart. With today's technology, this, and more human benefits, will be made possible with animal cloning. Thus, the benefits of human cloning are huge starting from organ transplants, discovery of new drugs, and even the prevention of extinction of some animals.

Amongst the most important benefits of animal cloning is the genetically modification of animals so that their cells and organs can be transplanted into humans. Normally, cells or organs from one individual will be rejected by another; the host recognizes the implant as foreign because of differences in molecules on the cells. The implant is then rejected by the body's defense mechanisms and destroyed, just as if it were a disease-causing organism. Genetic modification can be used to disguise an animal's cells and organs and reduce or even eliminate rejection of the organ implanted. Thousands of people die every year because of the unavailability of human organs for transplantation. Genetically modified animal organs could begin to fill this need. In addition, many other diseases could be treated by the transplantation of genetically differentiated cells. For example, in some disorders and diseases, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and emphysema, the only way to treat such patients is through therapeutic proteins, which are obtained through the milk of an animal ("Animal Cloning", n.p.). These animals carry a certain protein that is secreted in their milk or blood, which is then harvested and purified for use ("Cloning" Wikipedia, n.p). Drugs made from these proteins are extremely scarce and expensive. Recently, researchers have been able to transfer human genes that produce useful proteins into sheep and cows, which will then be produced in the milk of the animals (Pacelle, B9). With the ability to clone, scientists will be able to genetically engineer animals for a particular protein and then mass-produce the proteins. There are numerous other examples, so transplantation therapy could potentially relieve suffering in many thousands or even millions of patients.

Secondly, the discovery of a drug for the treatment of, or vaccination against, a disease is greatly facilitated if there is an animal model for testing the effectiveness of the drug. The pharmaceutical industry already uses cloned animals to produce drugs for human use. For example, PPL Therapeutics in Scotland has generated sheep that produce milk containing a protein that helps in the treatment of hemophilia. One day pharmaceutical firms may clone large populations of genetically modified animals to quickly and inexpensively derive this protein for use in drug products ("Cloning" Encarta, n.p). In addition, the Online Encarta Encyclopedia writes that cloned animals could also improve laboratory experiments. Researchers could create many genetically identical animals to reduce the variability in a sample population used in experiments, making it easier for scientists to evaluate disease. Moreover, scientists could clone a large number of animals that suffer from a human disease, such as arthritis, to study the disease's progression and potential treatments. Some cloned animals such as sheep and pigs live for years, and scientists could use these animals to evaluate their long-term response to drug treatments ("Cloning" Encarta, n.p).

Cloning animals may also save some animal species from extinction. In 2001 scientists successfully cloned a gaur, an endangered ox that lives in Southeast Asia. Scientists inserted the genetic material from the skin cell of a dead male gaur into a cow's egg cell that had its nucleus removed. The resulting embryo was then implanted into a female cow, which served as the surrogate mother. The gaur calf died two days after birth from a bacterial infection apparently unrelated to the cloning process. Also in 2001 scientists cloned the mouflon, an endangered sheep from Sardinia, Corsica, and Cyprus. Teams of scientists also hope to clone other endangered animals, including the African bongo antelope, Sumatran tiger, and giant panda ("Cloning" Encarta, n.p.). Scientists may one day clone extinct animals. The last wild Spanish ibex, also known as bucardo, a mountain goat native to the Pyrenees mountain range of northern Spain, died in 2000. Spanish scientists preserved some of its cells, hoping to use the cells to create a cloned embryo and then implant the embryo into a more common type of goat with a genetic makeup similar to that of the Spanish ibex. In order for scientists to clone endangered and extinct animals, however, they need cells containing an intact nucleus with undamaged DNA (Bren, n.p.) . They also need to implant a cloned embryo into a surrogate mother from a closely related species. These requirements prevent scientists from cloning cells from the fossilized remains of dinosaurs and other long-extinct animals.

To conclude, there are numerous benefits that animal cloning could bring. Starting from transplanting organs, through animal cloning, the organs in animals could be adapted and implanted easily in humans. This would save thousands of lives of persons who need their organs to be replaced in order to survive. Secondly, a substantial research on cloned animals could lead to the development and discovery of new drugs that will cure the killing diseases existing in our world. Last but not least, through cloning animals, scientists could save those animal species that are under extinction and the world will save its variety and diversity of the animal world.

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