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The Two Faces of Human Cloning

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The Two Faces of Human Cloning

"Human cloning is deeply troubling." That is what President of the United States of America, George Bush, has to say about the notion of cloning humans. President Bush strongly supports legislation banning all human cloning. I, myself, believe not all human cloning is favorable or unfavorable. I believe that stem cell cloning should be allowed and that reproductive cloning should be banned.

When most people think of cloning they just think about producing an exact copy of someone. In actuality, there are two different types of cloning. There is reproductive cloning and stem cell cloning. These both follow some of the same steps.

Stem cell cloning is the cloning of human embryos to acquire stem cells for medical purposes, not to produce babies. Using stem cell to cure humans using cloned

organs is completely therapeutic. Most scientists hope to produce genetically matched cells for Alzheimer's patients, heart attack victims, and other people whose body tissues and organs have stopped functioning normally. I support this type of cloning.

Reproductive cloning, or cloning to produce children, is a completely different type of cloning even though it follows some of the basic steps as stem cell cloning. This type of cloning involves using the genetic material of an individual to produce a new individual with exact same genetic features, or simply said, to make a copy of someone.

Reproductive cloning has been claimed to have been successfully done. I am skeptical of this declaration as there is no documentation of it and it would never be done until animal cloning was first perfected. The attempt to clone a human is far too risky and dangerous. I believe this type of cloning is wrong in many ways and that it should be banned.

Reproductive cloning has been used to clone a host of whole animals from goats to cats to sheep, like the recently deceased Dolly, and so on. The problem is that many have birth defects and probably die later if they weren't dead at birth. Only a handful of cloned animals have survived.

So what do scientists have to say about the matter of actual reproductive cloning? Like normal people, each scientist has his or her own opinion on the matter. Not all scientists share the same feelings about what types of cloning are good or bad.

For example, one scientist said, "Steps should be made to ban reproductive cloning while leaving the door open for therapeutic cloning."

On the other hand, some scientists would choose to go on with cloning. Not all scientists and physicians are against cloning for reproductive purposes if it could be done

safely. But the fact is that reproductive cloning can't be done safely. It hasn't been around long enough to be perfected.

So how long has human cloning been possible? Most people don't know, even though the matter of human cloning has been a controversial topic for the last five years. In 1998, researchers were able to isolate human embryonic stem cells. What exactly is a stem cell, you might ask. A stem cell is an unspecialized cell that gives rise to

differentiated cells. This stem cell is also why many people are against every type of human cloning. Even if human cloning can save existing lives, it destroys a life



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