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BIOTECHNOLOGY - Coursework Example

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However, it is not a fairytale; it is, in fact, a reality. The potential to clone cells, organs, animals, even whole individuals, is no longer considered…
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BIOTECHNOLOGY
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Biotechnology: Cloning Due The idea of cloning has been at the heart of any number of science fiction stories over the course of the last century. However, it is not a fairytale; it is, in fact, a reality. The potential to clone cells, organs, animals, even whole individuals, is no longer considered impossible and could very well be a huge part of the future of science and research. How is cloning accomplished? Well that is entirely dependent upon what one is intending to clone; reproductive, cellular, or organ cloning. Dolly, for example, was created through a process using mammary cells of a donor sheep. Human cloning in its most basic form is the act of taking one individual and making an exact biological replica of that organism (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2013). Dolly the Sheep was conceived and born into the world; however she suffered from a few health conditions, including rapid aging, which ultimately claimed her life at half the life span of a normal sheep. This means that cloning does come with the some obvious and unavoidable side effects that cannot go unaddressed. At the same time, it, also, offers some amazing potential benefits that cannot be ignored. For this reason, the debate over cloning of any living thing will remain ever-present for some time to come.
Cloning is at the top of the list of potential biotechnological advances. Given the provided definition of biotechnologies, cloning, ultimately, fits in nicely with that definition. Cloning could provide means to treat illness, eliminate the need for unrelated organ donors, and better the medical futures of generations of people. Some researchers believe that cloning of animal and plant life could be the solution to hunger; not only can the numbers be forcibly produced, but disease and weaknesses can be bred out. It is human beings stepping into the role of creator and providing themselves with what they “need.” In this case, it is the ability to develop clones of living people for whatever endeavors that they see fit. This may allow human beings, particularly, to breed for desired traits and eliminate those that are not; they may even be able to inbreed resistance to certain diseases. It could, also, be beneficial for people unable to produce offspring of their own; infertility could be completely overridden (Oak, 2011).The potential positive outcomes are inviting. However, there are side effects that are far less attractive. There is the possibility of misuse of the technology, of course. There are the concerns involving the limiting of genetic diversity. If science is breeding for specific traits in multiple people then that lessens the diversity that has allowed our species to survive for millennia. The cloning of organs could lead to malpractice suits of the age if they fail or are in any way ineffective.
The remaining issues that are raised when it comes to cloning are ethical in nature. Many are asking if these amazing technologies that allow individuals to clone themselves for future need be available to all people, or just to those who can offer the most money. Once again, bringing up the issues of “placing a value on individual lives;” that some lives have more value than others. More so, others are arguing that the whole concept of life having value would be negated. Living clones, like cloned parts, could be perceived as property (Oak, 2011). Cloning, like many wonders of scientific and technological advancement are very much a double edged sword. In the end, it is less about the technology of cloning and more about the ethical lines that many people believe need to be well defined. Cloning a needed organ in lieu of a donated organ is one thing, but cloning a living breathing person is a whole other issue. There are positives, negatives, and many more long years of debate to come before any resolutions are found.
References
Oak, M. (2011, November 30). Pros and cons of cloning. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-cloning.html
Genetic Science Learning Center. (2013). What is cloning?. (Masters thesis, The University of Utah)Retrieved from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/cloning/whatiscloning/ Read More
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