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Cloning - Research Paper Example

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Cloning Introduction: The word “clone is derived from the Greek word for “twig” and the etymology is the fact that somatic tissues like twigs can be used in the propagation of many species of plants…
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Download file to see previous pages Over the last decade, the prospect has generated great debate and fueled numerous controversies. The idea of producing children genetically virtually identical to pre existing ones might be repelled by some, while it might possibly be the brightest ray of light to a broader society with its infertile couples. The risks and moral concerns pertaining to cloning are greatly outweighed by its tremendous medical and agricultural benefits. Many nations who crave freedom and progress have opposed the legislative interference with science and technology and support human embryonic stem cell and therapeutic cloning research. The isolation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 has greatly accelerated the study of genetically transmitted diseases and has paved way for the development of novel therapies. (Human Cloning, 2002). The process of cloning: The production of living mammalian of springs through asexual reproduction by cloning is a complex process. A general outline of the processes involved is as follows: i. The first step involves the isolation and separation of an egg from the female of a mammalian species. ii. The mammalian egg cell is enucleated by the removal of nuclear DNA. iii. The nucleus of the donor cell is inserted into the enucleated egg cell. A successful insertion results in the formation of a reconstructed egg cell. iv. The reconstructed egg cell is activated by using certain activating chemicals or electric current. The activation stimulates the egg cell to commence cell division. v. In vitro, the development of the embryo is sustained to a suitable stage. Once the cloned embryo has stabilized it is transferred to the uterus of a female host. vi. The process ends when the female host gives birth to a living cloned animal. The cloned animal is genetically virtually identical to the donor from which the egg cell was obtained. However, the mitochondrial DNA of the cloned animal differs from that of the donor animal. (Human Cloning, 2002). Therapeutic Cloning: The new biomedical technology known as therapeutic cloning has the potential to revolutionize medicine, particularly the treatment and prevention of genetically transmitted diseases. The enucleated donor oocyte is reconstructed and subsequently utilized for the purpose of developing medically and immunologically compatible cells. The process of therapeutic cloning involves the development and dissection of blastocyst- stage embryos and provides the possibility of producing compatible cells which can then be used in the prevention of genetic diseases. Micromanipulation Media: The oocyte species and experimental parameters influence the choice of culture media with which the micromanipulation procedures of cloning are performed. The correct choice of micromanipulation media is critically essential for the success of the procedure. The most commonly used manipulation media are hydroxyethylpiperazinesulfonic acid (HEPES) buffered solutions. The HEPES are buffered versions of bicarbonate buffered embryo culture media and enable the maintenance of a balanced pH outside the incubator. Other standard media which are also popular amongst genetic investigators are M2 and TH-HEPES. (Cibelli 2002). Implications: Cloning has accelerated vital medical research and has provided the possibility of treating a wide variety of diseases. The benefits of cloning greatly outweigh the possible ethical and moral concerns. Cloning can be used to cure numerous diseases ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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