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Cloning - Research Paper Example

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Cloning has now been the edge of modern medical science for a few decades now.The initial success that leading cloning experts and researchers had with the creation of a cloned sheep Dolly initiated the enthusiastic pursuit of this controversial discipline that has far-reaching impacts on the biology of mankind,life and the society at large as well…
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Download file to see previous pages Cloning has now been the edge of modern medical science for a few decades now. The initial success that leading cloning experts and researchers had with the creation of a cloned sheep Dolly initiated the enthusiastic pursuit of this controversial discipline that has far-reaching impacts on the biology of mankind, life and the society at large as well. The scientific term, “Cloning” is the replication of an organism such that its genetic makeup is the same and as a result it appears as a carbon copy of its original counterpart. Clones have the same physiology, external appearance and the same genetic coding within their cells. In layman’s terms it is an exact copy of a particular organism.( Mediline Plus, 2012, p.1) So far the Cloning project and several genome projects have achieved success in cloning simpler organisms like micro-organisms, rats and the latest sensational breakthrough of Sheep cloning by bringing into the earth the first complex organism under the mammal species, a sheep nicknamed: Dolly. However Cloning has several risks and the current stage of knowledge and research is inadequate to successfully copy human genome and create an exact carbon copy. Lower level organisms too displayed extreme susceptibility to diseases, a very poor internal defence mechanism and intruder detection system and fragility in day to day course of existence. The Sheep ‘Dolly’ couldn’t be kept alive for long, surviving only for a short span of 6 years, dying due to progressive ling disease. Cloning: Change in Parenthood and Biological Origin The process of cloning involves a total paradigm shift, a total societal change in the way organisms reproduce sexually giving birth to a child with equal chromosomes being contributed by either partner. Cloning of Dolly was done with the help of three participating organisms. The first participant was the sheep that donated its somatic cell and gene from its mammary gland, the second sheep donated the egg and the third sheep was used to bear the embryo to term. The process of cloning is inspired and based on the natural process of embryo multiplication wherein an egg after fertilisation divides into two thus bringing into existence two identical twins. The sperm cell punctures through the egg followed by fertilisation and separation of a portion of the egg to give rise to an identical embryo at a later stage of fertilisation. (The University of Utah., 2012, p1.) Cloning replicates this process almost mechanically, aping the natural process step by step in cooking up a clone, through artificial embryonic multiplication, gene implantation, extraction and gestation in a mother’s womb until birth. Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer The process of Cloning involves the SCNT, Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Somatic Cells refer to cells in the body other than the two types: egg and sperm cell. Egg cells and Sperm cells have one set of chromosomes whereas somatic cells have a complete set of chromosomes inherited form its biological parents. (National Human Genome Research Institute, 2012, p1.). The cloning process involved three stages: somatic cell sourcing, nucleus extraction form the somatic cell of the adult sheep (intended sheep to be cloned) and finally implantation into a female sheep’s womb for successful gestation to term. Dolly the sheep was cloned in the same process. The fundamentals of cloning technology were applied. A somatic cell was taken from an adult cell’s mammary glands, the nucleus was extracted from the cell of the adult female sheep (source of clone) and the implanted in an embryo of another sheep. Soon the embryo started behaving normally and showing signs of acceptance of the nucleus. This embryo was later implanted into another female sheep for rearing in the womb until term and delivery. (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 2008, p1.) Risks of Cloning Reproductive cloning is extremely expensive and has high failure rates. Almost 90 % of all cloning attempts fail to produce ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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