Essay by RyankirklandHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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Shortly after the announcement that British scientists had successfully cloned a sheep, Dolly, cloning humans has recently become a possibility that seems much more feasible in today's society. The word clone has been applied to cells as well as to organisms, so that a group of cells stemming from a single cell is also called a clone. Usually the members of a clone are identical in their inherited characteristics that is, in their genes except for any differences caused by mutation. Identical twins, for example, who originate by the division of a single fertilized egg, are members of a clone; whereas nonidentical twins, who derive from two separate fertilized eggs, are not clones. (Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia). There are two known ways that we can clone humans. The first way involves splitting an embryo into several halves and creating many new individuals from that embryo. The second method of cloning a human involves taking cells from an already existing human being and cloning them, in turn creating other individuals that are identical to that particular person.

With these two methods at our desposal, we must ask ourselves two very important questions: Should we do this, and Can we? There is no doubt that many problems involving the technological and ethical sides of this issue will arise and will be virtually impossible to avoid, but the overall idea of cloning humans is one that we should accept as a possible reality for the future. Cloning humans is an idea that has always been thought of as something that could be found in science fiction novels, but never as a concept that society could actually experience. Today's technological speed has brought us to the piont to where almost anything is possible. Sarah B. Tegen, '97 MIT Biology Undergraduate President states, "I think...