The process of creating a clone of a single cell or an entire organism is called cloning. In the nucleus of every cell, each clone contains the same sets of genetic material. A clone of the original organism is a person produced from such a process.
Naturally, since they are natural clones of each other, the name is used for identical or monozygotic twins. Since it was accomplished in 1997, the cloning of the Dolly, a sheep, has shown itself to the general public as a technique that can be done with ease and relative success.
Almost 20 years ago, the cloning of rhesus macaque monkeys (1999) provided critical support for the concept that humans may be cloned. Cloning technologies, on the other hand, have been around for a bit longer. Cloning is, in reality, a natural occurrence that has been going on since life first arose on Earth, according to some.
Cloning appears to happen often in a fast-changing environment with so much scientific research and medical advancement. Is it a good idea to assist repopulate species stocks or is it just another desperate effort at immortality?
Pros of Cloning
Cloning has become a valuable technique in the field of biotechnology since the first successful execution of the procedure in 1996. Adults are cloned by using transgenic (genetically engineered) plants and animals. Cloning has a number of benefits.
1. It can help prevent the extinction of species
As many organisms in the planet approach endangerment and extinction, cloning appears to be a possible solution to restore populations. By utilizing the genetic material of already dead organisms, cloning can even contribute to expanding the diversity of gene pools.
- In addition, scientists will be able to study extinct species as living organisms rather than just studying their remains if they are able to clone and successfully resurrect them.
- Cloning is quite prevalent in a natural context, despite the fact that it is considered an artificial form of reproduction. Some species, such as insects and bacteria, demonstrate the oldest type of cloning: asexual reproduction.
2. It can help increase food production
Cloning, particularly animal and fresh produce, has significant agricultural production benefits. Existing traits of interest are ensured via biological processes manipulation thanks to the removal of the genetic “lottery” and random arrangement in genes during meiosis.
- Cloning takes place faster than natural replication because the gene of interest, as well as the organism that carries it, is replicated.
- As a result, the amount of organisms generated at a certain moment also grows.
3. It can help couples who want to have children
Last but not the least is the use of cloning as a means to produce children for infertile and same-sex couples. Normally, couples would want to have children that are biologically theirs. Interestingly, the genetic manipulations to be done could now be targeted at giving the children the genetic traits of both of their parents.
- Even without donor eggs or sperms, children may now be generated. To carry the clone until its birth, same-sex couples would only need a “surrogate” parent.
- These scientists believe that if the procedures could be done safely, it would be justifiable for these couples to reproduce this way.
Cons of Cloning
Despite the fact that cloning has considerable benefits for research and business, the result is sometimes unpredictable due to significant risks of loss and morbidity in organisms throughout development. The process of cloning, on the other hand, remains to be understood. Some of the most common cons are listed below.
1. The process is not entirely safe and accurate
Despite being genetically identical with each other, clones will not be the same regarding behavioral attributes. Aside from that, their similarities regarding physical appearance are not guaranteed.
- It’s worth noting that these traits aren’t always determined by genetics.
- Of course, the odds of two clones being put into distinct environments and having varying nutritional loads are quite great, resulting in different alterations and contributions to each.
- Furthermore, the vast majority of the cloned animals have perished sooner or developed health concerns. For example, Dolly the sheep had shortened telomeres in her DNA, which suggests that some of her own cells are the same age as the source organisms.
2. It is regarded as unethical, and the probability of abuse is very high
The ethical issues surrounding cloning are one of the most compelling arguments against it. Critics claim that the technique of clone creation requires the exploitation of life, apart from the concept of altering live beings.
- Before a successful clone was generated for Dolly the sheep, more than 277 efforts were made. This merely indicates that numerous “failed” attempts would be required if humans were to be cloned.
- Critics believe that it would be unethical to clone humans until these issues are recognized and resolved to a certain level of certainty.
3. The offspring lack genetic uniqueness
The lack of unique nuclear DNA in the kid’s genome is the main worry regarding cloning. However, if the procedures are carried out safely, the idea that cloning would solely produce the loss of genetic uniqueness would no longer be tenable.
- More research is still required for the cloning process.
4. It is not yet fully-developed
Many scientists agree that the cloning technology is not yet fully developed as a technique to promote species conservation. Cloning, in reality, is not even recognized by many scientists since it ignores the primary forces of extinction: habitat destruction and hunting.
- Critics also claim that, if cloning could assist in desperate situations, current ways to accomplish these aims are deemed ineffective.
- The process of cloning endangered creatures is considered to be more difficult and would probably take years (and even decades) to achieve as compared to cloning domestic animals (e.g., cattle).
- While there are many factors that have hindered numerous efforts to resurrect extinct and endangered species, they all had one thing in common: they were not perfect copies of their presumed-to-be counterparts.
In general, scientific progress appears to move faster than human need and actuality, which are the ultimate recipients of such advancements. As a result, it is critical to assess whether such realistic applications are timely and if they are really required for human survival.
Many people still think that cloning is unethical in and of itself. Many countries, in fact, have made it illegal to conduct research or to clone animals. Cloning, on the other hand, is still a work in progress.