Genetic Engineering - Cloning, DNA, Stem Cells Pros and Cons
Molecular genetics

The future technology

Drawbacks (Cons of Cloning)

Cloning every human may be possible in future, not now, due to the complex architecture of a human.

However, if everyone in a population has the same genetic material, a single disease can wipe out the entire population.

Many people would suggest that we can make use of the cloning technology to save endangered species. Zoologists and environmentalists who are trying to save endangered species currently are not having much problem in keeping population numbers up, they're having problem with having animals to breed with non-cousins.

Also, many errors currently occur when cloning is being done. Take Dolly the sheep for example, it took 277 tries and Roslin scientists produced many lambs with abnormalities. It's possible to kill the last females integral to the survival of a endangered species if we tried to clone them.

Ethical Issues

The experimenting with animals like toys are also a issueThere are also other arguments for cloning including the question of whether we are taking nature into our own hands by cloning animals or people. People question when we will draw the line for getting involved in natural events.

Religious organisations consider cloning to cause men to be reproductively obsolete as the cloning requires only oocytes (any cell) and a woman to develop in. They also say it's unnatural, and that we are taking the work of God into our own hands.

There's also a debate as to the moral rights of clones. The excitement of receiving a child of a couple who conceived naturally will not be the same. The natural reproduction process includes genetic variation, which makes a person unique, and cloning would deprive a person of it.

They argue that identical twins are not unique from each other, but that they are new in genetic variation and unique from anything that came before them. People also wonder what mental and emotional problems would result if a clone were to find out that he or she was cloned.

Roman Catholicism and many conservative Christian groups have opposed human cloning and the cloning of human embryos, believing that life begins at the moment of conception. Other Christian denominations such as the United Church of Christ do not believe a fertilized egg constitutes a living being, but still they oppose the cloning of embryonic cells. The World Council of Churches, representing nearly 400 Christian denominations worldwide, opposed cloning of both human embryos and whole humans in February 2006. The United Methodist Church opposed research and reproductive cloning in May 2000 and again in May 2004.

Although the practice of cloning organisms has been widespread for several thousands of years in the form of horticultural cloning, the recent technological advancements that have allowed for cloning of animals (and potentially humans) have been highly controversial.

Some believe it is unethical to use a human clone to save the life of another. Others have countered that people who exist today and have interpersonal relationships and personal histories should take precedence over never-conscious life at any stage of developmental maturity. The Catholic Church and various traditionalist religious groups oppose all forms of cloning, on the grounds that life begins at conception.

Conversely, Judaism does not equate life with conception and, though some question the wisdom of cloning, Orthodox rabbis generally find no firm reason in Jewish law and ethics to object to cloning. From the standpoint of classical liberalism, concerns also exist regarding the protection of the identity of the individual and the right to protect one's genetic identity.

Gregory Stock is a scientist and outspoken critic against restrictions on cloning research. The social implications of an artificial human production scheme were famously explored in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, food coming from cloned animals is safe to eat. In addition the FDA stated that cloned food does not require special labeling.

Both meat and milk from cloned animals such as swine, goats and cattle have no differences from the conventionally bred animals.

Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, said that cloned food still should be labeled due to the fact that safety and ethical issues of it remain questionable.

Carol Tucker Foreman, director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America, stated that FDA does not consider the fact that the results of some studies revealed that cloned animals have increased rates of mortality and deformity at birth.

FDA specialists mentioned that when the cloned animals are aged from 6 to 18 months, they are almost similar to conventionally bred animals. The food receives a certain label only in cases when its features are modified by the way it is produced.

At present, the main non-religious objection to human cloning is that cloned individual are often biologically damaged, due to the inherent unreliability of their origin; for example, researchers currently are unable to safely and reliably clone non-human primates. Some believe that as cloning research and methods improve, concerns of safety and reliability will no longer be an issue. However, it must be pointed out that this has yet to occur.

UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights asserts that cloning contradicts human nature and dignity: Cloning is an asexual reproductive mode, which could distort generation lines and family relationships, and limit genetic differentiation, which ensures that human life is largely unique.

Cloning can also imply an instrumental attitude toward humans, which risks turning them into manufactured objects, and interferes with evolution, the implications of which we lack the insight or prescience to predict. Furthermore, proponents of animal rights argue that non-human animals possess certain moral rights as living entities and should therefore be afforded the same ethical considerations as human beings.

This would negate the exploitation of animals in scientific research on cloning, cloning used in food production, or as other resources for human use or consumption. Rudolph Jaenisch, a professor at Harvard, has pointed out that we have become more efficient at producing clones which are still defective.

Other arguments against cloning come from various religious orders (believing cloning violates God's will or the natural order of life), and a general discomfort some have with the idea of "meddling" with the creation and basic function of life.

This unease often manifests itself in contemporary novels, movies, and popular culture, as it did with numerous prior scientific discoveries and inventions. Various fictional scenarios portray clones being unhappy, soulless, or unable to integrate into society.

Furthermore, clones are often depicted not as unique individuals but as "spare parts," providing organs for the clone's original (or any non-clone that requires replacement organs).

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