cloning notes - PHL116 Ethics of Human Cloning I....

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PHL116 Ethics of Human Cloning I. Reproductive Technology: Human Cloning A. Cloning: Background On February 3, 1997, Ian Wilmut of the Rosilin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland cloned the 1 st mammal, a Scottish ewe named Dolly. Wilmut took somatic cells from the mammary tissue of a Finn Dorset ewe and placed them into a culture low in nutrients and containing egg cells taken from a Scottish Blackface ewe. He added two pulses of electricity to the solution, one to fuse the DNA of the mammary and egg cells and another to trigger cell division and development. Once the fused cells had divided, he employed techniques of embryo transfer to implant the embryo into the uterus of a third sheep. The ewe gave birth to Dolly, who was the genetic twin of the Finn Dorset ewe that supplied the mammary cells. Although critics were skeptical of Wilmut’s achievement, cloning was demonstrated again in 1998 in the laboratories of Ryuzo Yanagimachi at the University of Hawaii. Yanagimachi and his team produced over 50 mouse clones, and some of these clones were clones of clones. The techniques he used for cell merging and division were slightly different than those used by Wilmut, but the overall result was the same. To date, scientists have succeeded in cloning cows, goats, pigs, cats and dogs. Clones have been shown to suffer from a variety of developmental abnormalities, and scientists are still not certain what the causes of such abnormalities are. Dolly did not suffer from any developmental abnormalities but died of a lung infection at the age of 6. It is important to remember that two genetically identical organisms are not literally “identical”. A variety of factors (developmental, environmental, diet, etc.) contribute to the development of an individual and presumably the original individual and its clone will differ in very significant ways. On the one hand, cloning appeals to some people because they want someone or something identical to someone or something else (e.g., to themselves, to a spouse, child, or pet that they have lost). Opponents of cloning oppose it precisely because of the worry of what kinds of things will be lost if identical replicas of animals, especially human beings, can be produced. For example, family relations will be complicated (consider Kass’ claims), the original person will be somehow less unique, which could be damaging, the potential clone will be less unique and may be treated differently or there may be expectations for it that will not be met due to differences in its development from the original, which might damage the quality of life of the clone. After Dolly was made public, worries began to ensue as to the possibility of cloning human beings. President Clinton spoke out immediately against the practice of human cloning. The FDA has explicitly forbid the practice of human cloning. B.
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cloning notes - PHL116 Ethics of Human Cloning I....

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