A discussion on the controversy of cloning

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A discussion on the controversy of cloning

You begin to notice one day that the computer freezes more frequently, and you continue to have problems. After taking your computer to the engineers, the engineers discover that a few of the small components of the motherboard are faulty, so they decide to replace it. If we compare the act of replacing a computer part with the feat of replacing a faulty organ in our bodies, we can greatly appreciate the idea of interchangeable parts.

Imagine, for example, that someone is born with a defective heart and has had so many surgeries that all that is left is a stiff and scarred heart.

Although a simple idea, scientists and physicians have struggled for more than 50 years to understand how we can manipulate our cells in order to replace or regenerate our bodies. As scientists continue to advance techniques in cloning technologies, we have seen an increase in the number of ethical debates on the future of cloning.

A tiny puzzle that grows on you.

Cloning, albeit a straightforward solution to generating new organs, has become taboo in itself, causing the path to duplication to become less linear and more complicated for the scientist.

If we would like to see medicine reach an era of curative intervention rather than palliative treatment, it becomes necessary more than ever to fully understand the fundamental scientific questions that cloning has sought to answer.

As we look into the history and science of cloning, we find that it reveals a remarkable flexibility in our biology that could allow us to repair many of the problems that often lead to death.

A Background To find the origins of cloning, we need to go back to the s. Embryologists had long been grappling with understanding how the vast diversity of cells in the body could be derived from a single fertilized egg cell.

Scientists were puzzled by the concept of cellular differentiation, the ability of a fertilized egg cell to become a unique cell type within the body [1]. Up to this point in history, all that scientists knew was that within the nucleus of a cell there was genetic information, and this nucleus was bathed within the surrounding fluid in the cell, known as the cytoplasm.

In order to investigate cellular differentiation, two scientists, Robert Briggs and Thomas King, sought to answer whether there was some type of irreversible change that occurred in the nucleus of the cell, which caused cells early in development to differentiate into the vast array of specialized cells in our tissues and bodies.

They pioneered a laboratory technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer SCNT [1]. SCNT involved taking the nucleus of a frog cell that they deemed to be further along in differentiation, and transferring the nucleus into a frog egg cell that had had its nucleus removed.

A discussion on the controversy of cloning

Briggs and King hypothesized that a differentiated cell nucleus that has undergone irreversible genetic changes should have a decreased potential to develop into other cell types, since it would be lacking the genetic information needed to differentiate into all the cells of the body of an animal.

Many scientists shared this hypothesis, as well as the idea that some factors within the cytoplasm cause irreversible changes to the genetic material in the nuclei of cells. Inhowever, a graduate student by the name of John Gurdon conducted SCNT experiments in which he took differentiated frog intestinal cells and transferred their nuclei into enucleated egg cells.

Gurdon modified his experimental procedure to conduct serial nuclear transplantations in which he took the already transplanted nuclei, and transplanted them again.

InGurdon demonstrated that he could effectively obtain adult frog clones with this method [2]. He proposed that if a differentiated cell nucleus could be used to form all the tissues of an entire animal, then the nucleus of a differentiated cell must not have undergone irreversible changes during cellular differentiation [2].

In a time when the secrets of molecular genetics were still being experimentally discovered, Gurdon proposed that it was through some type of mechanism that genes were turned on and off rather than lost as the embryo began to differentiate [2].

The idea that you could take a fully mature cell and reprogram it to become a cell capable of becoming any cell in the body led to the coining of the term pluripotency, which is the idea that a cell can become any cell in the body.

His idea that all cells in the body maintain the same genome and have the potential to be reprogrammed into pluripotent cells inspired efforts to discover new ways to reprogram cells. To start, scientists began by studying the pluripotent cells—the embryonic stem cells.

In James Thompson derived the first human embryonic stem cells [3]. By deriving these cells, scientists such as Thompson were interested in discovering the various genetic factors responsible for maintaining the pluripotent state.

Theoretically, if pluripotent stem cells, i. InIan Wilmut effectively derived the first embryonic stem cells using SCNT in a mammal and effectively cloned the first mammal—Dolly the sheep [4]. This lead to widespread fear and resistance that SCNT could be used to clone human beings, and that embryonic stem cells destroyed human life in the process of their derivation.

Such fears lead to an 8 year national ban on the use of federal funds for the creation of new embryonic stem cell lines during the Bush administration, which caused massive funding problems for the field of regenerative medicine [5].

Because human embryonic stem cells are both expensive to derive, and ethically controversial to use, they became incredibly inefficient to use for therapeutic purposes.

Moreover, as a clinical application, reprogramming was in its infancy since at the time, derivation of human pluripotent stem cells through SCNT had not been done. It was not until that Shinya Yamanaka and Kazutoshi Takahashi demonstrated the derivation of mouse pluripotent stem cells using the over-expression of four transcription factors [6].

This paper revolutionized the field of cellular reprogramming because it provided an effective alternative to deriving cells equivalent to embryonic stem cells.

This effectively took the place of SCNT as a reprogramming technology, as it was accepted as a less controversial form of deriving pluripotent stem cells.A brave, moral argument for cloning and its power to fight disease. A timely investigation into the ethics, history, and potential of human cloning from Professor Ian Wilmut, who shocked scientists, ethicists, and the public in when his team unveiled Dolly―that very special sheep who was cloned from a .

FROM BREEDING TO TRANSGENIC ART "GFP Bunny" is a transgenic artwork and not a breeding project. The differences between the two include the principles that guide the work, the procedures employed, and the main objectives. Controversies About Cloning Ethical concerns about cloning may be broadly divided into two categories: concern about the effect of cloning on animal and human welfare, and objection to the principle of cloning, ie, to producing an animal by .

May 19, There are many web sites authored by people who posture themselves as authorities on colloidal silver who are essentially BS artists. They say things that make no logical sense. For example, the "controversy" about "ionic" versus "colloidal" is one such nonsensical argument.

"Non ionic" silver is suppose to be much more desirable than "ionic" silver. Applied Ethics.

The cloning controversy - Science & Tech - The Jakarta Post

Under what conditions is an abortion morally permissible? Does a citizen have a moral obligation to actively participate (perhaps by voting) in the democratic process of one’s nation (assuming one is living in a democracy)?

Speaking of controversial issues, how about if we pick cloning as an example? Cloning is one of those issues that has, and probably will not have a final end to it. So, is it ethical or is it not ethical?

Debate: Ban on human reproductive cloning - Debatepedia