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How much longer until the designer baby is born? Not so long ago cloning of a human was merely a science fiction. As for me, not so long ago Ive read a book (science fiction), which described the lives of people in future, somewhere in 2240. This book described a human race as a race in which children are modified before their birth according to the tastes of their parents. Author pointed that such modification was not always good for a child. As for me, it was rather creepy to read.
More than that, I understand that such kind of future reality may come true. Now we dont ask about a possibility of human cloning. Tomorrow we will decide what kinds of genes our children will have. In this paper I want to discuss not only the aspect of cloning, we already now that it is possible, but I want to discuss biological, Psychological and Religious aspects of the question.
According to the information founded on the site web the world's first clone baby was born on December 26, 2002. I was rather shocked myself. I did not know that the designer baby was already born. The 5 clone babies that were born between December 26 th, 2002 and February 4 th, 2003 are developing normally.
Their progress has been documented and will be published through the Human Clone Rights Foundation - the association of the parents who have been cloned or who desire to be cloned. (Clonaid News) I can continue to give examples on this topic but truth still is the truth and cloned children lives happily among us. Lets see the subject closer from the biological point of view. We will start from the definitions. Cloning is the production of one or more individual plants or animals that are genetically identical to another plant or animal. (Embryo cloning of humans) There are different kinds of cloning. The most natural one is an embryo cloning. Embryo cloning we may, as well, named artificial twinning because the mechanism is similar to which twins naturally develop.
In the process of cloning one or more cells are removed from an embryo and these cells are encouraged to develop into the separate embryo. This embryo has the same DNA as the original. This practice is successfully carried for years on many species of animals but there were only some limited experimentation on human embryos. I want to add the best specialist in twinning is nature from time to time the fertilized ovum splits and produces monozygotic twins. The genetic makeups of the twins are identical to on another. The other thing is the adult DNA cloning.
It usually involves the removing of the DNA from an embryo and replacing it with the DNA from an adult animal (or human). Then the embryo develops into a new human (or animal) with the same DNA as the donor. This practice was used to clone different animals. It has not been tried on humans. And when I told you about the cloned babies I had in mind the embryo cloned babies.
I hope that I did not confuse you. Lets take a closer look on the mechanism of adult DNA cloning. As we know every cell in the body (excepts from the sperm and the egg) contains DNA, in which all genetic material can be founded. We can get the DNA even from the hair.
But as had outlined Dr. Ray Bohlin, director of communications at Probe Ministries, cells have been biochemical programmed to perform limited functions. (The Little Lamb That Made a Monkey of Us All - Can Humans be Cloned Like Sheep?" ) The other functions are not working. Most scientists had believed that such differentiated cells could not be reprogrammed to be capable of behaving as a fertilized egg. (Reproductive cloning) In the case of the famous ship Dolly, a cell was taken from the mammary tissue of while its DNA was in dormant state. Then the DNA was fused with the sheep ovum which had had its nuclear removed. Then the cleaned cell was stimulated with an electric pulse. From the 277 attempts of cell fusion only 29 began to divide.
They all were implanted in 29 ships. From these 29 only thirteen sheep's became pregnant and only one lamb was born. It was famous Dolly. It was a first attempt of cloning. The second attempt was cloning a mouse. And it was unsuccessful.
There were speculations on the possibility of cloning the mouse. Maybe, the cells need to be used after the third or fourth divisions complete. Scientist thought that this would give the ovum a sufficient time to reprogram the DNA from its original cell functions to egg cell functions. According to the fact that both human and mice use the DNA after the second cell division appeared an opinion that humans as well as mice cannot be closable. But some time later the mouse was successfully cloned. So, the reproductive cloning of human is also possible.
There are still many problems in the process but the main two are this: the cell is taken from the organism of certain age so the life of cloned animal (or human) is already the same age as the cell. In other words the newborn animal may have old cells and that will reduce its life. The other problem is fertility. Some cloned animals are sterile.
If these two obstacles will be surmounting the human cloning would not be an issue. On December 14, 1998 at the Infertility Clinic at Kyeonghee University in Korea was announced about the successful cloning of human. They we able to confirm division of the cell up to the fourth stage. The goal of their research was not to clone humans, but to clone specific, genetically identical organs for human transplant.
They did not implant the morula into a human uterus because of ethical considerations. They destroyed it. The Korean Federation for the Environmental Movement (KFEM) immediately issued a statement criticizing the study. Members of the Life Safety Ethics Association held a protest demonstration in front of the university. ("Human Cloning Test Succeeds") As we know officials usually takes great interest in developing new technologies, etc. However, in the case of human cloning Congress passed a bill, which banned human cloning by any organization in the USA. But I so not think that such measures will prevent these efforts being made elsewhere.
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Joseph Rotblat said Inevitably the problems will be overcome, and it's then that the real ethical problems begin. Ethics are not absolute. Look at in-vitro fertilization. This was originally considered unethical but is now widely accepted... "I feel that this [cloning], too, will become acceptable. Maybe he is right. And with time people will take the cloning as given.
In-vitro fertilization at first was rejected but later people managed to understand the value of this discovery and now it is very widely used. In-vitro fertilization helps many women to conceive a child in such cases where other doctors just say Impossible. The possibilities of cloning are endless. For example, it is a well-known fact that it is possible to find living cells in a body that has bee dead for 4 month!
Just think about it, cloning as a way of resurrection from the dead? Creepy? I will say, it is rather creepy, but on the other hand what would a mother to return her dead child? I think, that she may agree on the cloning. It is just an example. But, lets try to imagine on one second that it will become possible to resurrect people from the death.
How about live Mozart, or Bach, or Hitler? So, is human cloning a moral thing? Some people says that yes, it is moral and have many advantages. For example: two lesbians could elect to have a child by adult DNA cloning rather than by artificial insemination by a man's sperm.
Each would then contribute part of her body to the fertilized ovum: one woman would donate the ovum, which contains some genetic material in its mitochondria; the other woman the nuclear genetic material. Both would have parts of their bodies involved in the conception. They might find this more satisfactory than in-vitro fertilization using a man's sperm. (Reproductive Cloning) There are other positive sides. Such as helping to create a child for a heterosexual couple in which the husband is completely sterile. Such couple may prefer the cloning to the using the sperm of another man.
Also, in a family with the genetic musical (or other) abilities may be created a child, which inherit these abilities. Some kind of genetic engineering. As for the objection there are many of them. The first cloned humans may be not normal and have some serious deflections both physical and mental. Also, as I have already said the cloned humans lives may be already reduced thanks to the already aged cells. Lets remember sheep Dolly once more.
It was conceived using a sheep's egg and the other sheep DNA. There was no semen involved on the conceiving. If such technique will be perfected for humans there will be no genetic need in men and they all can die out. What an awful possibility. However, some women may not object to such going of events. According to the Reproductive Cloning Large scale cloning could deplete genetic diversity.
It is diversity that drives evolution and adaptation. It prevents an entire species from disappearing because of susceptibility to a disease. Some people have expressed concern about the effects that cloning would have on relationships. For example, a child born from an adult DNA cloning from his father would be, in effect, a delayed twin of one of his parents. That has never happened before and may lead to emotional difficulties. (Bruce A Robinson) It was all mostly a biological aspects. There are also religious aspects.
Religious persons believe that doctors who wanted to clone a human being want to replace God. The opinion is that scientist sin against human nature and is trying to ruin on the most accomplished of Gods creation. Also, the God created the man in one's own image and scientist want to collect surplus embryos and simply storing them in a deep-freeze as a commodity. The Church of Scotland has an extensive series of essays on cloning. The debated about the presence of soul in cloned body. The soul enters the body when a sperm fertilizes an ovum.
Since there is no sperm involved in cloning, perhaps the fetus would develop without a soul. There is no way to know whether a soul is present; it has no weight, it cannot be seen, touched, smelled, heard, or detected in any other way. The soul is the main aspect of human being. Could the person without a soul be called a human being? Some people believe that a fertilized ovum is a full human person. When the DNA is extracted from the cell during the cloning, that person is, in effect, murdered.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, "Islamic perspectives on cloning, " said, A clone would not be a real human. The process of cloning is no more than playing God. Cloning is not natural and it denies the sanctity of human life It is very hard to object to such statements. Will cloning be just like invited? I do not think so, really on thing is the in-vitro fertilization and the other is cloning.
Maybe Im just not ready to except the fact of cloning the human being. Will it be possible to tell a clone from a real person? Im highly doubt that it will be possible because these to persons will be identical. If to be correct, it will be the same person just duplicated.
And there is still a possibility of creating the superior race. Some countries tried to create an universal soldier even without cloning. And what will do the authorities with the help of genetic engineering? They will be able to create anything the want to because cloning is really playing God.
And what about a psychological aspect? How would a clone feel being a copy of someone else? He will be a human, a normal human and how is possible to explain somebody that he is just a copy of original? What will be the reaction on such statement? I think that cloned person may attempt a suicide after learning the truth. One thing is to clone a sheep, she is indifferent to its origin and the other thing is to clone a rational thinking human being who has emotions and feelings.
Pope John Paul II said .".. methods that fail to respect the dignity and value of the person must always be avoided. I am thinking in particular of attempts at human cloning with a view to obtaining organs for transplants: these techniques, insofar as they involve the manipulation and destruction of human embryos, are not morally acceptable, even when their proposed goal is good in itself. " (International Congress on Transplants) According to the CNN Poll about cloning American adults think that: 90 % felt that cloning humans was a bad idea; 67 % felt that cloning animals, such as sheep, was a bad idea; 45 % believe that it will be possible to clone a human within the next ten years; 69 % believe that human cloning is against God's will; 23 % say that it is not. (Time. CNN poll - Cloning) The conclusion is that people are not ready for cloning humans. While the scientist are more that ready the society will not except cloned humans. However, the young generation has other thoughts about the cloning.
What if Einstein could still continue his work, years after his death? He would have another lifetime to research. If we were allowed to clone humans, then the knowledge of great thinkers such as Einstein would never be lost. With great minds recreated in another body and time, they could use their minds to even greater lengths than when they lived. (15 years old sophomore from the high school) And here I want to object.
Because we must consider that person develops according to the its surroundings. The are many factors which leads to forming a person. It is not possible to recreate fully the surroundings for forming exactly that person which is needed. Take for example Paganini, if his father did not beat him and force to play on the violin for hours he may not knew how to play at all. The numbers of examples are endless. As a conclusion I want to said that we now stand on the verge of the birth the first designer baby.
I personally think that mentally our society is not ready for such innovation but scientist will not wait forever. Sooner or later human will be cloned. Sincerely hope that it will happen later rather sooner. However we must remember to be tolerated to these persons.
Another witch hunt will bring only hatred. Bibliography Cloning of Humans: Will it be Ethical? Should it be Done? , July 18, 2004. < web > Dr. Boisselier, Human cloning discussion at the UN, Thursday, October 21, 2004, 23: 56: 54. < web > "Time.
CNN poll - Cloning, " May 8, 2001. < web > Pope Paul II, Address to International Congress on Transplants, August 29, 2000. < web > The Church of Scotland, < web > Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Islamic perspectives on cloning, < web > Bruce A Robinson, Reproductive Cloning, May 29, 2003. < web > "Human Cloning Test Succeeds", Chosen-Ilbo newspaper, December 15, 1998 Dr. Ray Bohlin, director of communications at Probe Ministries, The Little Lamb That Made a Monkey of Us All - Can Humans be Cloned Like Sheep? March 07, 1997. < web > B. A.
Robinson, Embryo cloning of humans, August 17, 2001. < web >
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