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Cloning and Mind Zombies
Cloning, is it the thing of the future? Or is it a start of a new
generation? To some, cloning could give back a life. A life of fun, happiness,
and freedom. For others it could mean destruction, evil, or power. Throughout
this paper, you the reader, should get a better concept of cloning, it's ethics,
the pro's and con's, and the concerns it has brought up. You will hear the good
of what cloning can do and the bad that comes with the good. Most of the
information you will read about in this paper is what might become of the future.
Even though the cloning of humans can not be accomplished. When it is the
possibilities are endless.
What is cloning? How did it get started? Well, it is like this. A
clone is a genetic copy or a replica of an living organism. But, when you gear
cloning doesn't a Si-Fi movie come to mind. Like when they take a nucleus, place
it in a egg, put the egg in a incubator, and when it hatches it's an exact
replica of the original being (Lawren). Though this has been done with frogs it
has not yet been accomplished with mammals (Lawren). Another way to make a
clone, as they do in the cattle buisness, is to split the cells of a early
multi-celled embryo which will form two new embryos (Lawren).
For it to get started into practice it took more than fifty years of
questioning and testing. The first successful cloning experiment involved a
leopard frog. It took place in, 1952 with group of scientist from the
Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia (Lawren). To clone the frog they
used an embryonic frog cell nucleus(Margery). 1962, John Gurdon of Cambridge
University cloned a toad that survive threw adulthood and was able to reproduce.
He was also the first to take a nucleus from a fully contrast tadpole intestinal
cell and cloned toads(Robertson). As you can see we are getting close to the
cloning of humans. 1981, Steen Willadsen was the first to clone a artificial
chimera. He did this by mixing a sheep and a goat getting the result of a "geep"
(Lawren). It had the body shape and the head of a goat, and a dappled coat
which had large patches of sheep's wool. 1984, Willadsen cloned the first
verifiable mammal, using embryonic nuclei transplant into an unfertilized sheep
egg. Also in, 1986, when he worked for Texas bioengineering company (Lawren).
By using the embryonic nuclei, he produces the first cloned calves from cattle.
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The cloned cattle that were produced were super-elite, high production dairy
cows and bulls who had a high breeding rate (Robertson). 1987, James Robl of
the University of Massachusetts was the first to clone rabbits also using
embryonic nuclei. But who can say when we will be able to clone human organs or
complete "biocopies" of human beings by using just the nuclei taken from a skin
What's so good about cloning? Lets look at this at a different scenario.
Ned and Stacey are in a hospital. The both of them have a kidney that is
failing them. For Ned this is no big deal, since he has a clone. All the
doctor has to do is remove the cloned kidney and switch it with the bad one.
With this cloned kidney you don't need to worry about the body rejecting it
because it is made from the same DNA and the cells will react to it as if it was
the original one. On the other hand for Stacey she doesn't have a clone. So,
all she can do is pray for a donor's kidney to arrive before she dies. Another
good thing is we could create farm or "pharm" animals genetically engineered to
produce valuable drugs (Resenberger). Like scientist are creating an animal
that will manufacture anti-clotting drugs for humans in their milk by gene-
spliced sheep and mice (Resenberger). With this breeders could make formerly
expensive drugs in large quanities at a low cost. Doesn't all of this sound
good to have? Or are we just overlooking the bad possibilities. Lets just say
some freak wants to make an army of one hundreds Adolf Hitlers. Or try to clone
Einstein. Also people could go out and buy a son that will grow up to be
Micheal Jordan or Mike Tyson. But in a way this is good for people who are
unable to have children. Some thought of the future is immortality. When you
make a clone it is like being born again. You have a whole other body waiting
for you. You could be 80yrs old and switch into a 21yrs olds body (Lawren).
You lose a limb just get another one sewn back on (Lawren). These possibilities
can go on and on.
Cloning can also produce doubles, triples, even quadruplets. In a way
this is good for some families. Are you wondering how this could be good? Well,
just think about this. This couple had a cloned son implanted in the wife.
When the son is born he is just fine and normal like every other baby. After a
few years the kid is able to walk and wonders off some where. the next thing
you now it the kid is hit by a car and is killed on the scene. Even though this
is a tragic event. The mother and father can go back to the lab to get the
exact cloned baby. The new cloned baby has the same physical features, but
mentally he will be different (Robertson). So, the personalities of the two
will be different. One or the other will learn different stuff and at a
different rate. And the lab will always have a copy or clone for another child.
In a bad sense, the company that is making the cloned embryo could also sell the
same copy to another couple. In time you had one cloned son and then a couple
years later you have the exact clone son again. Which might make the first son
feel like he is in a awkward position . Having a brother that is exactly like
him physically. So, as you can see cloning has its good and its bad (Robertson).
Though this seems too good to be true or the worst nightmare you have
ever had. This stuff still can not be accomplished yet. All though a lot of
attempts have been tried. The human embryo still does not want to develops into
a clone. And so far it has been taking years of painstaking research. Some
peoples opinion about are good or bad. Like Marie Diberardino, Ph.D. who
researches animal cloning at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
says, "The cloning of animals is certainly useful, but I'm morally against
manipulation genetic material that would develop into a whole human being. We
just don't have the right to manipulate the gene pool of human
As you can see, Marie is against the cloning of human beings, but John
C. Fletcher, Ph.D., of the University of Virginia's Center for Biomedical Ethics
believes in cloning for human parts, but not for human manipulation. He says,
"I don't think any [ethics] committee would approve research that would mutilate
an embryo by destroying the brain. I know if I were looking at such a proposal,
I'd say no. But If you could grow me a liver from one of my cells, I wouldn't
opposed-- ass long as you weren't growing me. It's certainly better than taking
a liver from a kid." (Lawren).
A biologist at Bio Time Inc. in Berkeley, California is Paul Segall. He
is the coauthor of Living Longer, Growing Younger. He says this " The aging
surgeon's dexterity, the athlete's wind, the construction worker's muscles, the
fashion model's face -- all restored. Complexions smooth as a baby's joints and
tendons as spry as a teenager's, hearts and lungs of an adult in his or her
prime... Cloning will provide the raw materials to put us pack together."
Segall is definitely pro with cloning. One thing that Segall enthuses is , "The
Seventy-year-old transformed into a nineteen-year-olds body." (Robertson).
To research in the United States is like selling drugs on the street. So,
to see any progress in cloning seems remote. The main ethical problem is the
fact that cloning deals with human embryos (Robertson). Kind of like abortion,
since so far no cloning embryo has lived. Back in 1975, The federal government
declared that there could be no funding on the experiments on human embryos
until the government's Ethics Advisory Board gave its approval (Resenberger).
And since this is so close to abortion all politicians may stay clear of cloning
research for the foreseeable future (Resenberger). But right now the immediate
concern is whether if there should be any restriction on research with embryos
designed to improve or perfect techniques of embryo splitting (Margery). if
they are able to establish the efficacy and safety of embryo splitting then it
will have to be a concern. The two biggest ethical issues are whether they
should be able to research on normal human embryos. The second is if the embryo
create can be placed into a uterus and be born. Some of the families concerns
are the fear if cloning violates one's uniqueness and dignity. It will also
give the child a unrealistic parental figures. Some feel discomfort with the
manipulation and destruction of human emboss in research. They even fear the
fact that clones could be created to provide a sick or dying child will the
organ or tissue transplant. Still the worst fear is the case of the
production of the cloned embryo will be produced and sold to certain parents
looking for the desirable child of their dreams (Resenberger) .
In conclusion, cloning could possibly bring us immortality, it could be
the fountain of youth, its the ultimate life insurance, it could bring back
loved ones, give some couples their first child, and provide us with our own
transplants. On the bad side one could possibly conquer the world, bring back
evil souls, create mind zombies and sell you body without you even knowing it.
So does all the good even up with the bad or is it not worth the trouble? I
personally do not know, because to me it is strange to think that they could
make me again. It seems like it is impossible to be born a second time in life.
One thing for sure, cloning is bring around a whole new idea to peoples heads.
Facklam and Margery. From Cell to Clone. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1979
Lawren, Bill. Bionic Body Building. --: Longevity Publications Internation,
Ltd., 1991. Rensberger, Boyce. The Frightful Invasion of the Body Doubles will
have to Wait. Washington,
D.C.:Washington Post, 1993 Robertson, John A. The Question of Human
Cloning. New York: Hastings Center Report, 1994.