Cloning Cloning

Jill W. from Pennsylvania wrote this paper for a 10th grade English class.  She got a 100 percent on her paper and hopes that it will help other understand cloning.  It is not just in favor of human cloning, but rather all types of cloning. 

People often say in jest that two individuals are “made from the same mold.”  With the recent scientific breakthroughs and the anticipated discoveries yet to come, this fictional cliché is becoming more plausible.  Cloning first caught the public’s attention when Dr. Ian Wilmut announced the birth of Dolly, the first cloned mammal.  This historic achievement and new technology sent congress into action to ensure that human cloning would not be the next breakthrough.  Unfortunately, the impetuously drafted bill went far beyond banning human cloning, but it also banned the use of federal money for experimentation using human cells (“Off Limits” 1).  This ban holds strict limitations over scientists that want to experiment with this incredible technology for therapeutic, infertility, and other applications.  The rash decisions made by congress were made in fear and ignorance.  Therefore, the current ban on cloning should be reviewed and adjusted accordingly to allow for further experimentation that could benefit all mankind.

Cloning offers a promising future in medical treatments.  Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.  Scientists predict that in the near future they will be able to clone healthy heart cells and inject them into damaged areas (“Benefits” 1).  Technology like this is obviously in great need but is harder and harder with the current bans on cloning.  Yet another discovery that scientists and doctors are anticipating is the cloning of cells and tissues.  If doctors can take healthy cells and tissue from a patient’s body and use them to make organs, the chance that the body would reject the organ is drastically reduced, if not eliminated (Stencel 414).  This would undoubtedly increase the survival rate of patients undergoing organ transplants.  With continued research in cloning procedures, scientists predict they will be able to find a cure for cancer by learning how to switch cells on and off (“Benefits” 2).  An increasing amount of people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and a cure for this dreadful disease is long past due.  But, cures for these diseases are nearly impossible with the government’s ban and the absence of federal funding.  With all that scientists know about cloning and all the advances scientists foresee, no one should undermine the infinite number of advantages that cloning holds in the future of the medical world.

 The cloning of animals can be very beneficial to the world.  This type of cloning had been widely experimented with prior to the cloning ban.  Today, experimentation continues in other countries.  The main reason that scientists want to clone animals is they want to find an animal with phenomenal traits, and clone that animal.  For example, if scientists find a cow that produces large amounts of high quality meat, they could clone it so that there would be numerous cows that produce large amounts of high quality meat.  Randell Prather, an associate professor of animal sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia said, “We have an ever growing world population, so if we can improve our agricultural production, we can make feeding those people that much easier” (Stencel 418).  Randell Prather makes a convincing point in his statement.  The world’s populations is, in fact, growing and this provides a practical solution to the problem.  But, many argue that animal cloning does not have a high enough success rate to be used widely yet.  After all, Dolly was the only successful clone of two hundred ninety-nine.  Although, Japanese scientists successfully cloned eight of ten calves in a recent experiment (“Japanese”).  This proves that the success rate has indisputably increased since the time when Dolly was created.  Scientists have already perfected cloning in frogs, mice, sheep, and most recently monkeys (Travis 214).  This demonstrates how with experimentation and persistence it is possible to increase the success rate substantially until it can one day be used as standard procedure.  This area of cloning should be thoroughly experimented with to ensure the highest success rates possible.

 Lastly, human cloning offers many potential benefits to society.  The first use that human cloning can be used for, and perhaps the most practical is infertility.  Would it be morally wrong to clone a mother to create a baby?  Perhaps it is the mother’s choice and not society’s.  Current procedures for infertility treatment are less than ten percent successful (“Benefits” 1).  These low percentages are discouraging to the many people struggling through the heartache of infertility.  Many people oppose the idea of using cloning to solve infertility problems.  On the contrary, doctors, scientists, and infertile couples think it is a logical solution that should not automatically be ruled out.  Each human clone must be carried in a womb for nine months just like any other child; and once born, it would have full human rights (“Case for Cloning” 6).  This discredits any falsehoods commonly believed by people uneducated in this topic.  Would the child be identical to its mother?  Yes, but she would look at the age of sixteen how her mother looked at the age of sixteen and so on and so forth.  In essence, the clone would be a time-delayed identical twin.  Identical twins only have a seventy percent correlation of intelligence and a fifty percent correlation of personality traits (“Case for Cloning” 5).  The same holds true for clones.  This means a clone of Adolf Hitler would not necessarily be a tyrant, and likewise, a clone of Michael Jordan would not necessarily be a basketball star.  U.S. Senator Tom Harkin said it best when he said, “Cloning will continue, the human mind will continue to inquire into it.  Human cloning will happen and it will happen in my lifetime, and I don’t fear it at all.  I want to be on the side of the Galileos and those who say the human mind has no limits, rather than trying to stop something that’s going to happen anyway” (“Citat” 1).  Someone is going to do it, legal or illegal.  But it seems only logical to do it under strict government supervision with the best trained professionals rather than letting some maniacal scientist do it and let his clone run lose.  Human cloning should not be prohibited simple because it does not insure immediate benefits, but it should be experimented with for potential future use.

For medical, animal, and human cloning to be used in their fullest positive potential, the ban must be lifted and laws must be revised.  The laws need to permit the experimentation of cloning to an extent but yet prohibit the cloning of humans to anyone until a faultless procedure has been established by the government.  As the knowledge and technology in cloning increase, the laws should change accordingly.  In conclusion, Congress should put their qualms aside and focus on the positive aspects of cloning.

 Works Cited:

“Citat Om Kloning.”  http://www.nada.ktn.se/~asa/kloning/citat.html (4 January 1999).

“Japanese Clone Cow.”  http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/dailynews/cowclones92108.html (20 December 1998).

“Should Human Cloning Research Be Off Limits?”  http://nejm.org/content/1998/0338/0013/0903.asp (4 January 1999).

Stencel, Sandra.  “The Cloning Controversy.” The CQ Researcher.  9 May 1998: 409-432.

“The Benefits of Human Cloning.”  http://www.humancloning.org/benefits.htm (4 January 1999).

“The Case for Cloning Humans.”  http://www.best.com/~verc/cloning.htm (4 January 1999).

Travis, John.  “A Fantastical Experiment.”  Science News.  5 Apr. 1997: 214-215

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