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Imagine seeing your brother or close friend suffering with a debilitating disease and every moment they live and breathe is agony. There are not many solutions but an idea comes to youâ”€ human cloning. The major obstacles are the controversies and the law makers and activists, but it is the only way for the person you love most to give life another chance. In a case where there is almost no hope, human cloning may prove to be beneficial.
There have been many misunderstandings among the general public. Human Cloning is not the identical replication of whole human body. By definition cloning is the replication of certain tissues of the body and then replacing the damaged tissue with these new one. There are 3 kinds of cloning; DNA cloning, reproductive cloning, and therapeutic cloning. Also according to many Dolly, the sheep was the first mammal which was cloned on February 27 of 1997, but the true fact is that the first ever mammal to be cloned was a lamb which was produced on March 7 of 1996. Both cloning were carried out by a Scottish scientist Ian Vilmut at Roslin Institute. The only difference being that the parent cell for the lambs was taken from a sheep's embryo while that for Dolly was an adult stem cell of ewe. So the latter experiment was considered more authentic just because of the differences in sources of parent cell. However the first ever human reproductive cloning took place in September 1993, at George Washington University by researchers, Jerry Hall and Dr. Robert Stillman, in which they cloned 17 microscopic human embryos in to 48 to produce the first genetically identical human clone.
Cloning is the biotechnological process of producing genetically identical progeny from the asexual reproduction of a single organism, cell or gene either naturally or artificially. In this process a foreign DNA molecule is introduced into a replicating cell which permits its amplification and allows it to grow asexually into the daughter cells. Replicating cells are the egg cells of a female with its nucleus removed and the nucleus of another somatic cell inserted. A brief jolt of current initiates the process of replication. This implies that all clones of a single progeny originate from a single parent gene. However this process is not easy to carry out because it requires very strict conditions which include the presence of a cloning vector which facilitates in the propagation of cloning and a collection of specific DNA to be cloned. Commonly used vectors are plasmids, bacterial and animal viruses.
Until now, numerous advantages of human cloning have been discovered. Examples include Heart attack reversal (in which healthy tissues of a heart are cloned and replaced with those susceptible of causing heart attack), production of artificial insulin from human DNA, infertile couples having children, cure for genetic diseases (like Leukemia, Lymphoma, Down's Syndrome, and Cystic Fibrosis), tissue reconstruction for burn victims or people with natural anomaly, and treatment for those unfortunate patients suffering from any spinal cord injury. Anomalies and deficiencies like those mentioned often leads to depression, divorce and suicide, but with the help of cloning technology there is a chance to prevent it. Another advantage of human cloning might be that it may allow scientists to research on cell differentiation much more conveniently. Cell differentiation is where a stem cell, specializes into cells that perform specific functions. These cells have the ability to develop into any type of cell of the human body. Biologists still do not know which internal/external factors forces a stem cell to develop into that specialized cell. A better knowledge of cell differentiation will allow biologists to grow stem cell into which ever cell that they may desire.
These advances make us think that if such heists have been overcome then there might be possibility of overcoming many other challenges like cure for Cancer and AIDS. Also the process of complete tissue reconstruction can also lead us to carry out Rejuvenation (which is the phenomenon of reversing age) and complete organ transplant without the chance of tissue rejection. Conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, degenerative joint disease, Tay-Sachs disease, Huntington's disease and many other diseases can be made curable if research advances on, and still the possibilities are endless. Couples can clone their children who have genetic disorders; woman can have children without having any sexual intercourse through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF); patients would have easy available organs which would not require any donor, and best of all you may even regenerate people like Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and many other more. In this modern world it might be possible for lesbian couples to have children. By human cloning one of them will provide an egg from which the nucleus would be removed and the other partner does not need to provide any sperm, he/she can just provide the genes. But the gay couples would have to find a mother to put the activated embryo in them and born them.
Along with all of these advantages there are also some disadvantages of human cloning. The risk of abnormality and fatality is often high, so it is not always a feasible method for treatment. The nucleus taken for the clone is taken from an adult cell so when the clone is produced it is already biologically at an adult age, which raises many complications concerning the physical performance of the clone. Any human clone would also have to grow up knowing that they were not born naturally and that his/her mother could also be his or grandmother or even sister. Also during the process many embryos are sacrificed for the final result which is not accepted by the society. The concept of cloning is hurting both, the human sentiments and religious beliefs. There are a lot of controversies regarding whether cloning is ethical or not and at the present time the controversies are ripping the world apart. Religions like Christianity and Judaism are completely against the destruction of embryo or the creation of human beings artificially.
Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) has already created the first human embryo. They took DNA from a man's leg and inserted it into a cow's egg with its nucleus removed. There have also been reports of similar work in South Korea. The first two cloned monkeys were reported in a 1997 article entitled, "Rhesus Monkeys Produced by Nuclear Transfer," published in the journal Biology of Reproduction. A case of transplantation was recorded in which no cloning was carried out. A girl called Anissa lived in San Francisco in 1988 and she suffered from cancer. A person needs his/her stem cells for survival but the only way to cure her was to kill all of her stem cells with highly toxic compounds. After a very long and hard search her parents found a suitable bone marrow for the transplantation but the surgery failed because the compatibility of the bone marrow was at a low percentage. The parents decided to give birth to another child to provide a suitable bone marrow for their daughter and evidently the comparability of the bone marrow of both the baby and Anissa was 25%. The baby was 14 months old when the transplantation was carried out. It took Anissa 5 years to recover. There are about 10 to l5% of couples throughout the world who are infertile. But through human reproductive cloning many cases of infertility have been solved. About 65% of the couples who seek medical help will eventually have a child. In cases where there are no sperm or eggs present, the only options left are sperm donation, oocyte donation or adoption. This is a difficult choice for couples to make and many do not want to use sperm or egg sources other than their own or do not wish to consider adoption.
The main hindrances in the advancement of Human Cloning are the ethical issues that the public has put up which has also dragged the issue of its legalization into the general discussion. Human reproductive cloning involves a great risk of failure which remains unacceptable to the public because they consider a failed experiment (even though of a single embryo) as a murder of a life which is ethically incorrect. Supposedly human dignity is on the line by promoting human cloning which has raised many controversies for debate. Ideas like clones have no spirit in them spread like wildfire which raises too many questions in a person's mind. There have been ideas that cloning would defeat death which is accordingly in the Hands of God. This means that by cloning of a person, the dead can always be replaced thereby causing social problems. Cloning seems to exploit women drastically for their biological functions, such as being able to support a zygote in the womb or producing ova. Researchers have begun to look at the possibility of constructing artificial wombs, thus finalizing the project of fabricating human beings in the laboratory. Also there are certain complications to be dealt with due to the ruthless nature of the human society, like the relationship of the cloned humans with the natural progeny of the couple and with the society itself in general. People believe that human cloning violates the basic principles on which the idea of human rights is standing; equality and non-discrimination. Families were concerned that children cloned through IVF were somehow incomplete physically. Studies showed that the cloned organisms tended to show symptoms of old age after a much smaller time than the natural ones, so due to these complications people are more in favor of banning human cloning.
Immediately after the creation of Dolly the federal government started issuing bills and drafts for the ban of human cloning. Organizations like National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) were set up to overview the science and ethics of human cloning, and states like Russia even banned it immediately. In March 2001, a lawsuit was filed in U.S federal court to stop federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research and since then research has been advancing on private funding. Laws regarding human cloning are complicated and vary for each country. In Pakistan, different laws exist regarding human cloning. The legal issues regarding human cloning are split into the categories of therapeutic and reproductive uses. Although there have been some attempts to pass federal law against human cloning, as reported for October 2010, there is no federal law that bans all human cloning.
It would be much better if cloning research could be done openly in countries like China, Japan and U.S. Established government agencies can overlook and restrict the implications of the studies for human subjects. Someone is going to clone a human with or without government assistance. It would be very advantageous to humankind if our federal government would co-operate and regulated such experiments, rather than outlaw them. Regulating human cloning projects will allow our federal government to closely inspect experiments pertaining to human cloning. Banning it would deprive many beneficial treatments from people who need it. I have mentioned only a few of the cloning technology's significant benefits like it can lead to a better understanding of cell differentiation. If human cloning technology is given a chance for advancement, then it will most likely become a part of our daily lives. Human cloning should be made legal as it can cure the mental and physical pains of many patients. Human cloning provides us with a wide range of organs which are in need of transplantation, where it could save a lot of lives. For example, if a patient requires a new set of lungs, may be because of lung cancer, then an identical clone of the patient's lung can be made. This may sound absurd, but if the patient was part of your family, wouldn't you have preferred it this way? Only the clone of the lungs of the patient would succeed as the operation requires a high percentage of the comparability to avoid any tissue rejection during transplant. However it should be noted that the production of a physically identical clone does not necessarily duplicate its soul. It is a matter in the Hands of God and only He has the authority to control it, not humans. If human cloning was allowed, then parents would not have to born another child and then kill it for their daughter. They must have their faith in science and learn from the example of Louise Brown who was the first baby born through IVF without any physical or mental complications. This may sound inhumane, but the transplant by human cloning is one of the most successful procedure that can save lives.
Throughout this paper, it has been seen that there are many advantages and even successful examples of human cloning. There are controversies and ethical concerns too, but it can be clearly seen how the pros outweigh the cons. Humankind can advance and achieve huge medical breakthroughs if human cloning is given a chance. It just has to be regulated and people have to clear their misunderstanding about what human cloning is. The benefits of cloning can be used if lawmakers and activists research and help in promoting regulated cloning. Workshops and seminars must be arranged for the general public and specially for those who are completely mislead, to make them aware of the three different kinds of cloning and its advantages. Campaigns, societies and organizations must be set up which would be dedicated solely for the protection of cloning programs. The world would be amazed at the number of people who would be helped either by human reproductive cloning to have a child or by DNA cloning to cure their genetic diseases. Moreover therapeutic cloning would become a practice in general which would help many patients in making their life a lot easier. Media can also participate in this revolutionizing movement by hosting educational shows with experts all around the world. Movies like My Sister's Keeper reflects the true conditions of the society in which the clones would live but it should also be noted that whatever the case might be clones will get their full rights one way or another. It is not as hard as it looks but someone amongst us must stand up to the difficulties and support this historical breakthrough.
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