Stem Cell Research and a Ban on Human Cloning Some biotechnology companies claim that a ban on producing human embryos through cloning would stall important research in generating "stem cells" to cure a variety of diseases [Cong. Record, 2/5/98, S425]. To put this claim in perspective: 1. Cloning is desired as a source of "customized stem cell lines" which would be an exact genetic match to each individual patient with a given disease. But this would require each individual patient to undergo somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce one or many living human embryos who genetically are the patient's identical twin sisters or brothers.
Cloning – Well, Split My Embryo! Genetic engineering, altering the inherited characteristics of an organism in a predetermined way, by introducing into it a piece of the genetic material of another organism. Genetic engineering offers the hope of cures for many inherited diseases, once the problem of low efficiencies of effective transfer of genetic material is overcome. Another development has been the refinement of the technique called cloning, which produces large numbers of genetically identical individuals by transplanting whole cell nuclei. With other techniques scientists can isolate sections of DNA representing single genes, determine their nucleotide sequences, and reproduce them in the laboratory.
They see their dreams return back from ashes as the doctor describes a new technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He explains the couple that this procedure consists of creating embryos, with both of their genes. These embryos are later analyzed for any genetic disease. Those with a genetic disease are discarded, leaving only the “healthy” ones, which are later injected into the woman’s uterus through in vitro fertilization. After the decade of the 90’s, much process has been made in the field of genetics, human genetics.
Cloning is the process of extracting the DNA out of a donor’s cell and implanting this genetic code in another cell in order to grow a being with identical genes, thus virtually duplicating the donor. The term clone refers to the new being that has identical genes to the donor. There are three types of cloning, when the media reports on cloning they are generally referring to reproductive cloning. There is also recombinant DNA Technology, and therapeutic cloning (McGee, Human Cloning Debate). Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another.
Ever since the first cloned mammal, Dolly The Sheep, was created in 1996, the concept of human cloning started to arise (Nardo, 2002). Cloning is a mean of asexual reproduction, which will create a genetically identical organism by copying the DNA of a cell or an individual. By simpler mean, a clone is a duplicate or a copy (Yadav & Sharma, 2011). It is said that human cloning could bring variety of benefits to people including bringing back the deceased, and helping infertile couples. However, human cloning issue is very controversial that up until now, the future of this issue is still uncertain.
They used a different method for mammals than used previously by starving the pre-cloned cells into hibernation, and then using nuclear transfer (copying the nucleus of the cell). Some say that if we continue with cloning, it would be extremely risky, because it is known that it took 277 tries to create Dolly. However, bans have been made to prohibit public uses of cloning. It is also known that Dolly was born with short telomeres. Telomeres power the successful reproduction and division of cells, and are found in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of genes found in chromosomes.
It all began with the team from the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland led by Dr. Ian Wilmut. Wilmut and his colleagues wanted to see if specialized cells could be reprogrammed into thinking that they were not specialized and develop all over again, thus creating a clone (Wilmut et al. 810). Cloning, as defined by the Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997, "means the production of a precise genetic copy of a molecule (including DNA), cell, tissue, plant, animal, or human" (4). Before this experiment, it was known that once an egg cell from a mammal was fertilized, it would begin to divide and differentiate, first into an embryo, and then into other specialized cell types like skin and organs.