Human cloning

Essay by nitirajpalCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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"A clone is a cell or an organism that is genetically identical to another cell or organism"(Sangeeta). Cloning is the process of "creation of an organism that is an exact genetic copy of another". Cloning is done by a process called "somatic-cell nuclear transfer". In this, the nucleus of the egg cell (oocyte) is removed and nucleus of a cell- that contains chromosomes made of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-is placed into that egg cell. The egg cell then divides to produce an embryo that develops into an organism.

"Cloning has a long history" (Gavin and Melody). It dates back to the 1800s when a man named Gregor Johonn Mendel established the basic laws of heredity. This was one of the most important steps that made cloning possible Also, in the 1880s, Weissman stated that the genetic information of a cell diminishes with every cell. Since then many developments have been made in this field.

Hans Spearman performed the first nuclear transfer in 1928. The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 was a major breakthrough in the history of cloning. But the news that spread across the globe like a fire in a forest was the creation of the first animal clone- a sheep- named Dolly. Ian Wilmunt cloned her from her mother. Since then, many more animals such as mice, rabbits, monkeys, etc are "claimed to" have been cloned. The debate going on nowadays is about cloning humans(Waite).

Though many people believe that human cloning (technology) should be banned because it is unethical, it will prove to be beneficial in the long run. The ethics of human cloning have become a great issue in the past few years. Cloning is like a coin with two sides to it - good and bad.