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The Benefits of Responsible Human Cloning

Powerful Essays
The Benefits of Responsible Human Cloning

On an unremarkable afternoon in July of 1996, in an unremarkable shed in Scotland, a lamb was born. This lamb was to spark a controversy that would be one of the defining arguments of this era. This lamb, simply named "Dolly" (after Dolly Parton in reference to the mammary cell used as the donor), was the first clone to be born using specialized cells from an adult mammal.

The fact that the lamb was cloned from these specialized cells - such as muscle cells, liver cells, or mammary cells - is what made this discovery of such importance. Before this, scientists had thought that these cells had lost their ability to grow into a new embryo. They had already cloned embryos, but this revelation meant that a clone could be produced from an adult subject.

At first, one would think that little benefit could be derived from such a discovery, beyond the novelty of being able to make an exact copy of one's self, but scientists soon theorized many benefits that could result from such a procedure. A more hom ogeneous control group for use in science experiments involving animals would be an obvious example. A completely similar group of animals is extremely difficult if not impossible to accomplish without the use of cloning. The current research being conducted on aging would benefit greatly from this application of cloning.

The medical field could also be helped by cloning. Cells from a cloned embryo could be used to treat such illnesses as Parkinson's Disease and muscular dystrophy. Also, entire organs could be grown to replace failing ones, thus entirely eliminating t he long wait for a matching donor. This would also eliminate the harvesting of organs from the prisoners...

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