Genetic cloning is done to create a desired gene from DNA to ensure certain qualities. Although this scientific advancement has a lot of promises, it has also gained a lot of heat from critics all around the world, claiming that it is morally inappropriate to manipulate nature. To come up with a well-informed insight about cloning, let us look closer at its advantages and disadvantages.
List of Advantages of Cloning
1. It helps infertile couples to bear children.
One big advantage of cloning is that it allows infertile couples to reproduce, and the child would be genetically modified to fit what the parents want to appeal to other people. During the process, somatic cells are acquired from the male’s sperm and are injected into the female’s egg for fertilization. By the time the embryo has developed, it is then implanted to a surrogate mother, who will carry it for 9 months until birth. This means cloning can potentially ease fertility problems. What’s more, the children produced will have the DNAs and qualities of both parents, instead of just one of them.
2. It has great contribution to organ replacement.
Genetic cloning allows scientists to take small amounts of cells from a certain organ and use them to generate and harvest new organs that are entirely functioning. Considering the huge number of people on organ donation waiting lists, this is extremely beneficial.
3. It allows for growing eminent individuals.
Historical and very influential people can be possibly re-created. Theoretically, someone like Martin Luther King Jr. or Albert Einstein can be brought back to life by cloning. This means we will be able to have such knowledgeable individuals to educate and help people in today’s world.
4. Cure for Diseases.
Starting with the same procedure as adult DNA cloning, therapeutic cloning allows a resultant embryo to grow for days, where the stem cells would then be extracted and encouraged to grow into human tissue or complete human organs that will be used for transplants or treatments of certain diseases. The end result would not be a human being, but rather a piece of nerve tissue, replacement organ or quantity of skin.
List of Disadvantages of Cloning
1. It comes with a degree of uncertainty as of yet.
There is still a lot of repercussions and effects of cloning that remain unknown to date. After all, it is a new world of science that is still continually being discovered, and there is no convincing way to tell what the mental, social and medical consequences may be endured due to it. Also, the research and testing that are needed before embarking on something as insane as cloning humans still does not exist. Considering the problems that already exist with animal cloning, we can safely presume that the procedure will be a very large obstacle to begin with.
2. It is expected to bring about new diseases.
One of the real possibilities of cloning is cell mutation, which is known to result in new and more aggressive genetic diseases to begin within humans, creating a lot of problems. In fact, many people believe that such an event will be the demise of civilization.
3. It might lead to problems in organ rejection.
As stated above, cloning can cause cell mutation, which is still highly possible even if the technique uses the cells of the recipient’s organ. This can result to a substantial difference in the cell make-up between the original and replicated organ.
4. It decreases gene diversity.
The ability of humans to live greatly relies on the diversity of genes, which comes from parents who have different sets of genes. One big disadvantage of identical genes is that they will weaken our adaptations and power, which can make us subjected to certain diseases easily. Moreover, we should remember that the beauty of humanity lies in the differences among individuals, and cloning ruins this. Not to mention that it would eliminate surprise and predict expectancy.
One of the most unfavorable consequences of cloning is in-breeding, where everyone will be having the same genotypes, which can keep reproducing among themselves. This means this procedure would lead us to extinction. As what Richard Nicholson of the British Bulletin of Medical Ethics said, research on cloning may well be “sowing the seeds of our own destruction.”
6. It can lead to disruption of parenting and family life.
The basic concept of family is couples falling in love and determining to care for each other. Then, they may decide to have children whom they will love dearly. But with cloning, parents involved will tend to only value their children according to how much they look like themselves.
7. It can cause a further divide.
These days, there is already a bit of divide among people, whether it is due to race, language or social status—discrimination and prejudice certainly exist. Now, for cloned humans, they would feel as if they are not as “human” as other people who are not born out of cloning.
8. Unbalance to the Society
Many people think that it is ridiculous to separate reproduction from love and other human relationships, thus cloning would may arise social side effects.
9. It poses the risk of being abused.
There is always a risk of cloning technology being abused, so scientists should do their best to keep the technology closely monitored. For instance, you can just imagine what a corrupt dictator could do with cloning. Truth be told, there will always be someone looking to use such technology for his own advantage, and many feel that the best way to prevent this scenario is not pursuing cloning at all.
Cloning used to be something that was only portrayed in science fiction films and novels, but today, it is done in the real world and is one of the most controversial topics within the medical and scientific communities. Considering the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above, would you support or oppose cloning?
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.