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Research Paper on Cloning

We have seen comic material in the movies and on television. The entertainment industry usually shows it in a humorous situation such as Danny Devito and Arnold Schwannager as genetically engineered twins while Michael Keaton was duplicated to make his life easier. Cloning is only achieved after intensive research and experimentation where as in the movies; it is made out to be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Even though animal and human cloning has only been announced recently to the public, it has been around for the many decades, and is very beneficial to our future generations.

In 1938, a German scientist by the name of Hans Spemann came to the conclusion that organisms can, in fact, be reproduced. His belief was that by transplanting the central element of one animal's cell into the egg of another animal, the animal could be reproduced, or "cloned". Dr. Spemann believed that the central element or "nucleus" of a cell contained the genetic blueprint for the structure of the organism. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935 for his discovery of what he called the "organizer effect" ("Bio of Hans"). After Spemenn's discovery, there were two other tries to replicate what he did. The first was in 1952, when American scientists tried by infusing the nucleus of a frog's embryo into a frog egg, but this attempt resulted in failure. In 1970, a British scientist repeated the same experiment. This attempt resulted in the development of some specimens, which died after reaching the tadpole stage. Over time, there have been many claims to cloning, but have all turned up as either frauds or they produced organisms that have died after a few days (Plutonium).

There have been cases of cloning of several types of animals beginning in 1984. Embryonic animal cells were what clones were produced from in the past. Scientists have developed a new process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is performed using nature cells. This is the science that was used to produce Dolly in 1997(Roslin 1).

It has been said that after 277 failures, Dolly was finally produced. The team of scientists who made Dolly described that they removed cells from under the arm of an adult sheep, starved those cells from nutrients so they would enter a dormant state and then used an electrical charge to force the cell's pores to open. 277 different eggs and cells were fused together. Of those 277 fused eggs, only 29 survived and were implanted into 13 ewes. These ewes were to act as the surrogate mothers. Of those 29, only one sheep embryo survived. This embryo was born on July of 1996 and was named Dolly (Roslin 1). This famous sheep was introduced to the public in February of 1997 and was named after the country music singer Dolly Parton.

Not only have sheep been cloned, but also by using advanced genetic techniques, bioengineers have produced calves and intend to produce herds of cows that will produce drugs in their milk, these cattle will basically be living drug factories. This is called cattle pharming. Cows carrying human genes have also been produced. The human cells cause these cows to produce milk that contains human proteins (Holy Cow 43). Hemophiliacs in need of certain blood-clotting factors will receive them by simply drinking a glass of this milk. Another herd will produce milk-containing proteins for infants that can not nurse. Even more research is being done for cattle to produce milk that will be beneficial for emphysema and fibrosis suffers. A cattle breeder wishing to clone the best breeding stock can have a cloned herd, fatten them, and them have them slaughtered for beef. This process is called selective breeding.

Plants as well as animals can be cloned. The main difference in these two procedures is that for the past 2000 years, we have been forcing the plants to reproduce by methods of grafting and stem cutting. The main goal is to clone plants that will be superior to those plants that occur naturally. Scientists hope that these new, genetically altered plants will be more resistant to insects, viruses and bacteria with improved nutritional qualities and longer lives. This would not only benefit man, but a lot of plants are also used in the production of medicine (Clone 2: 832).

Animal cloning would also allow an effective study of human genetic diseases such as systic fibrosis and Down's Syndrome. It can even put an end to the shortage of human transplant organs by the use of trangenetic animals. These animals have been genetically altered to that their organs would be partially made up of human material (Reibstein and Reals 58). This method would once again bring the rights of animals into concern. A lot of controversy could arise in raising animals solely to produce drugs, experiment on or take organs from. Scientists feel that it may be possible to "reprogram" skin or blood cells so that they will grow into "spare parts" of tissues and organs rather than whole organisms but this would be many years into the making.

Many of these methods will not be practical in the near future but there are other cloning methods that can help those that are already alive. It can help in developing new treatments for disease, cure disease, and save lives. One disease that cloning would hopefully help would be Parkinson's Disease, which is a disease of the nervous system. Scientists could manipulate cells to grow into healthy brain cells (Cloning 159).

Still another use is growing organs and/or tissues for humans. Cells can be manipulated to revert to their embryonic stage and then these cells will have the potential to grow into other issues, cells, etc. This is done through chemical signals called fibroblast growth factors. These signals "tell" the cells what to do. These same chemical signals are also used on embryos. The fibroblast growth factors tell the cells what to become. Hans Spemann found the organizer effect, which is how the embryonic cells are aligned. The organizer effect shows that "the anterior parts of it (the cell) tend to produce the parts of the head and the posterior parts of it parts of the tail (bottom)." ("Biography of Hans Speeman"

By producing organs/tissues genetically identical to that a patient, there would be less risk of rejection and the patient would be spared from the need to take heavy medication that suppresses the immune system. Transplant patients would benefit the most from this because there are not anywhere near enough organ donors for those who need the organs. On top of that, the patients then have to wait and see if the organ



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