Against Cloning

Have you ever looked in a mirror, and wondered what it would be like if you weren’t looking in a mirror and saw yourself? With cloning, this may be possible in the years coming. To some people it may sound enticing, but others might not enjoy life knowing that there is someone walking around who looks just like them. In Scotland in 1997 the first successful cloning was accomplished, but cloning had been considered for 100s of years. There are three main types of cloning.

The first being recombinant DNA technology, or DNA cloning, the second type is reproductive cloning which is also the first successful type of cloning, the third type is therapeutic cloning which is used for medical purposes. Cloning could be used for the benefit or demise of the world, unforeseen problems may arise from cloned copies of plants, animals, or humans. The first living organism that was cloned was Dolly the sheep. Dolly was created using reproductive cloning. Dolly was named after the famous country singer Dolly Parton.

Dolly was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell, and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dolly produced offspring whose names were Bonnie, Sally, Rosie, Lucy, Darcie, and Cotton; all who survived. Dolly was the only lamb to survive the cloning process out of 266 attempts. Dolly developed a lung disease, called Jaagsiekte; it is still undecided whether it was because of cloning that she developed this disease. The disease killed Dolly at the age of six. (July 5, 1997 – February 14, 2003) Normal life expectancy for sheep is 11 or 12 years.

Since Dolly, ten other animals have been successfully cloned, a tadpole, a carp, a mouse, a rhesus monkey, a guar, a cow, a cat, a horse, a mule, a water buffalo, and a camel. In the body, Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA is the genetic code of your body, and with the help of the three main types of RNA (Messenger, Transfer, and Ribosomal) your body copies its genetic code. In the real world outside of our bodies scientists are studying something called cloning which could hypothetically make a copy of a living organism. Cloning could potentially be life saving in the eyes of many, but in the eyes of others it is immoral and unethical.

Some groups feel scientists are playing God. My personal belief is that cloning could create massive population problems. Many believe that the earth is already over-populated, and cloning could just aid in the spread of diseases, viruses, and other deadly illnesses. What it would do to genetic diseases is also unknown. The increased population would cause an increase in the amount of pollution, an increased need for resources like food, water, oxygen, and other things. The increase in pollution might also speed up the process of global warming.

Cloning could prove useful except it would cause the world to have to accommodate for more people. Cloning causes many problems with a persons’ diversity. Parents may want to make designer babies’ a certain height or hair color. The amounts of social problems that may result from cloning are endless. An example, a person who has a clone might have problems with identity theft, and similar crimes. Individuality could be a problem if there are clones that look like each other. A clone may not have the same family ties as others; he or she may not have genetic ties to their parent.

Also cloning could have an outcome in a lack of required DNA diversity which helps to improve survivability in the future. A good example of this can be seen in the Florida Panther. The Panther does not have enough genetic diversity left in the surviving animals and the offspring are born with health problems and usually do not survive. The same principle applies to food and animals, if animals or foods genetic diversity had been destroyed, and only one kind was left it could be wiped out completely. The ideas of cloning in the eyes of some are not ethical.

In some cases, if a person was in need of a vital organ and couldn’t find a donor, he/she could clone him/herself to stay alive. There are also many unethical things that cloning could be used for, like making a superior army, a super soldier, or to spread disease on purpose. Another problem with cloning is research on disease and cures may not progress; new or spare parts would be the answer for those with the finances to, “buy” a new part. People living in extreme poverty or without insurance would not have the same options or access to treatment or a cure.

This happens already in some cases when people need organs, those with money or power may not wait as many years as some. People have been cloning plants for centuries. A cutting of a plant which grows roots and leaves and stems is a clone of the plant it was taken from. Scientists are now able to clone plants from roots to propagate more plants. Nature clones plants on its own, some tress or plants send out runners and this makes a new plant. People figured out how to do what nature did thousands of years ago. The cloning of animals or living organisms is much more recent.

People who are vegetarians or animal lovers would see cloning animals as a cruel way for us to make more food for ourselves, and as inhumane treatment towards animals. Animals may be cloned to be used as laboratory experiments, more animals may be used inhumanely if there was less value put on their life if the animal was from a clone. If scientists were to clone an endangered animal, and it began to flourish again, they might ruin the food chain in that animals’ environment; upsetting the balance of nature. Too many predators at the top of the food chain may affect all the living creatures below it.

Cloning could also be seen as a health hazard because the donor might experience problems later in life because of DNA problems. The clone may inherit mutations or diseases because of a mistake or a problem in the cloning process. Cloning is neither, ethical or unethical in my view because it is your choice to donate to the process. The person who is the clone may feel differently since they did not ask to be a clone. Cloning is the process by which a DNA sequence, such as a gene which is transferred from one organism to another and replicated by genetic engineering techniques. (dictionary. com).

Even though cloning is very expensive and possibly unethical in some cases, and may cause mutations; there might still be a purpose for cloning. Laws need to be established regarding cloning. Medical insurance may or may not cover this; it would be up to government and legislature to establish when it would be covered. The group assigned to me for the debate was against cloning, but my personal view right now is that cloning has both good and bad that may be the result from the process. My feelings are in the middle about pros and cons to cloning. It may be good but it may also end up being bad.

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