Is it because technology is not advanced enough yet? Or is it just because human cloning might be too dangerous? Many scientists are trying to clone humans but is it ever justified? There are a whole lot of debates on this topic, and I am strongly against it. Human cloning is ethically wrong; there are many risks involved, which will lead to detrimental effects on human society.
Kathi E. Hanna, a science and health consultant, states, “Many believe that use of gene transfer at the embryonic stage for enhancement would reach far beyond the limits of acceptable medical intervention” (Hanna). What is genetic engineering? Is it safe? Can it benefit humanity in the future? Genetic engineering is the changing of characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material, or genome.
This is a common theme in the novels Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Both novels show a scenario where knowledge has crossed a line by being used in insensible ways, causing it to become a burden. To use knowledge in a wise way, we have to ask the question; “even though we can, should we?” When this question is given thought, knowledge can be used to benefit humanity. Writer D.T. Max shows this by portraying the story of Neil Harbisson, who could not see in color before he had a cybernetic implant.
In 1974, Rudolf Jaenisch created the first transgenic animal. After he introduced the foreign DNA into mice embryo, he observed that the foreign DNA was found in the mice tissue. This started the discovery of many more products that were produced from genetic engineering later on. The report features the medicine aspect in the application of genetic engineering.
For centuries there has been rousing controversy on whether cloning is the right step to advance in the science world. As research and experiments thrive with the advancement of technology and science, we are getting closer to the inevitable reality of cloning. Today, the question remains unanswered whether to, “clone or not to clone”. Under the Webster Dictionary the definition of cloning is, “the aggregate of genetically identical cells or organisms asexually produced by or from a single progenitor cell or organism”. When the idea of cloning arises, society tends to ask itself is it right or wrong.
The process lets you change certain attributes in appearance, intelligence, gender, personality and disease, the lack thereof. So basically you are creating a perfect specimen. Trait selection happens during the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Considering that it is not a natural reproductive process, genetically modified Imperials are created by in-vitro fertilization. Now, what could be wrong with a designer baby?
Advancement in genetic research has enabled setting up of laboratories in various countries for trials of human cloning from somatic cells. Some institutions argue that they have successfully cloned human embryos although such claims are not yet proven (Ayala 8879). Genetic engineering and technologies aim at recreating human beings a process that poses an ethical dilemma despite being of high application in various medical fields such as in animal cloning. The first clone on sheep named Dolly was in 1997, which was estimated to have a success rate of between one and four percent (Kuhse 19). However, in human beings, the percentage may lower and may interfere with the natural biological order of life.
Natural cloning also occurs in mammals, including humans. Twins are produced, when a fertilised egg splits. This split creates multiple embryos with almost the same genetic information. (Information gathered from this year’s Biology textbook) Artificial Cloning: There are three types of artificial cloning, namely gene, reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Gene: this is when a desire gene is located and cloned from DNA extracted from the organism that contains the desired gene.
However, there are animal cloning projects aimed at conserving endangered or extinct species. GSK (2003) and McCreath (2000) provided an example of using animal to treat a disease through the production of transgenic sheep in order to express human alpha-1-antitrypsin with the intention of treating alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, which develops to emphysema. In the therapeutic cloning category, scientists see the method as a way to enhance regenerative medicine by cutting out the possibilities of immune rejection and in treatment of genetic disorders when used in relation to gene therapy (Kfoury, 2007). Furthermore, there is also argument that therapeutic cloning is not the same procedure as recreating organisms and does not intend to do so; the parent embryonic cells harvested are for use in medical treatments only, they are propagated in order to produce cells, tissue cells, muscle cells, and other types of cells (Terec-Vlad & Terec-Vlad, 2013). >>> General Opinion <<< 2
Genetic engineering is manually changing the genetic structure of cells by adding a new DNA which has one or more new traits that aren’t existent in the particular organism. The aim of the genetic engineering would be to improve organisms. An example of a genetically engineered organism would be plants that can handle herbicides or crops with higher or lower oil content. Genetic engineering works by removing a gene from an organism and inserting it into another organism, making it capable to express the trait given from the gene. One specific gene is located and copied from thousands of genes, this is called gene cloning.