Cloning of Animals
On Sunday, February 23, 1997, Scottish researchers broke one of nature’s
greatest laws by cloning a lamb from a single cell of an adult ewe. This
breakthrough opens the door to the possibility for the cloning of other mammals
This remarkable achievement is being looked at as a great advancement in
animal agriculture. But this achievement could lead to ethical questions of
Researchers lead by Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Midlothian,
Scotland, showed that a fully differentiated cell from the mammary tissue of an
ewe could be manipulated in such a way as to produce a genetically identical
copy of the animal that the DNA was acquired.
Scientist long believed that once a cell became differentiated, that
most of its approximately 100,000 genes shut off. Only a few genes remained
active to allow the cell to perform its specific function of life. All efforts
to reactivate the shut-off genes have failed. English researchers have came the
closest by teasing frog body cells to develop into tadpoles. The tadpoles,
however, never matured into frogs.
The Scottish researchers have failed many times with sheep cells before
their success, but the task was perfected and accomplished. Now this
accomplishment has made it possible for the cloning of almost any mammal,
To the average person, exactly how the technique works is unclear.
Scientist predicted that by making cells dormant and bringing them close to
death, something happens to break the chemical locks (barriers) that keep most
of the genes inactive. The mammary cell is inserted into an unfertilized sheep
egg cell that has already had all of its own genetic material removed. By
fusing the cells together tricks the egg into thinking that it has become
After being fused together, researchers believe that the chemical
machinery inside the egg cell goes to work to reprogram the mammary cell genes
into starting over again, as if they were brought together as sperm and egg.
The cell divides, produces an embryo, fetus and a newborn that is identical to
the animal from which it was cloned.
Although the United States government prohibits government funds being
spent on human cloning research, and ethicists decry it, nevertheless, human
cloning could be achieved, Neal First said. First is a professor of animal
biotechnology and reproductive biology at the University of Wisconsin.
Overall, there is no apparent reason to clone humans. A duplicate body
does not mean a duplicated mind. The clone’s brain would be far different, for
the clone would have to learn everything from its own experiences. Is cloning a
human ethical? Should we try to clone humans?
I believe that nature will clone what it wants to clone. Researchers
should be careful for we no nothing of the stability of any animal that is
cloned by scientist. We don’t know if that animal will be dominant over the
animal from which it was clone or if it will turn hostile. From my point of
view having a “clone” is not all it is cracked up to be.