Cloning: The Benefits and Where to Draw the Line

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Imagine being able to cure diseases such as Parkinson’s or diabetes. Today, more than one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease (Statistics on Parkinson’s) and over twenty-five million have been diagnosed with diabetes (Statistics about Diabetes). Cloning could offer a cure to these diseases and more. A clone is defined as an identical copy of an organism or cell, produced from the genetic material of a single organism (Cloning). Although the process of cloning is still developing, it is quickly becoming a reality. There are two distinct types of cloning: reproductive and therapeutic. Both processes can be achieved using the same technology called nuclear transfer. Nuclear transfer is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the introduction of the nucleus from a cell into an enucleated egg cell (an egg cell that has had its own nucleus removed).” This process can be accomplished through the direct removal of the nucleus from the cell or through fusion of the cell to the egg. The transferred cell then begins to divide and develop into an embryo. Therapeutic cloning involves creating an embryo from a somatic cell, such as a skin cell, and then using the cells from the embryo to develop cells and tissues of various types, such as neural or blood cells, which can be used to repair the body. In reproductive cloning the goal is to create an embryo that could be implanted into a surrogate female and allowed to develop to term rather than being harvested for its cells. Although both processes can be referred to by the term cloning, they produce two distinct results. Cloning, in some form, has existed for millennia. People have been cloning plants for thousands of years by cutting pieces of the roots, stems, or leaves and the... ... middle of paper ... ...man Reproductive Cloning HL Bill (2001-02) 57, cl 1 "Nuclear Transfer". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane. "Research Cloning Should Be Allowed but Not Reproductive Cloning." Cloning. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Manipulating the Human Embryo." USA Today Jan. 2011: 30-33. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. "Statistics About Diabetes: American Diabetes Association." American Diabetes Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. "Statistics on Parkinson's." Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF). N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. "Therapeutic Cloning." Therapeutic Cloning. N.p., 24 Jan. 2002. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. "Why Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation?" Organdonor.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

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