- Pros and Cons
Cloning creates a copy of a single cell or an entire living organism. Each clone bears the same sets of genetic material in the nucleus of every cell. An individual produced from such a process is known as a clone of the original organism.
Naturally, the term is used for identical or monozygotic twins as they are natural clones of each other. Cloning, as a sudden scientific concept, has shown itself to the general public as a technique that can be done with ease and relative success since it accomplished the cloning of the Dolly, the sheep in 1997.
The success of cloning in rhesus macaque monkeys almost twenty years ago (1999) also provided essential support to the hypothesis that humans can be possibly cloned. However, cloning techniques have been around for a longer period than that. Cloning occurs all the time naturally-some even speculate that it started ever since life arose on Earth.
With the fast-changing environment and so much scientific research and medical development, cloning seems to occur widely shortly. However, is it a possible option to help revive the population of species or just another ambitious attempt to achieve immortality?
On this page, we will explore its pros and cons and decide whether this scientific endeavor is worth the risks.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Cloning
- 1. It can help prevent the extinction of species
- 2. It can help increase food production
- 3. It can help couples who want to have children
- Cons of Cloning
- 1. The process is not entirely safe and accurate
- 2. It is regarded as unethical, and the probability of abuse is very high
- 3. The offspring lack genetic uniqueness
- 4. It is not yet fully-developed
Pros of Cloning
Since the first successful execution of the process in 1996, cloning has become a useful technique in the field of biotechnology. Through cloning, transgenic (organisms having genes of interest inserted in their genome) plants and animals are used to make clones from adults. The following are some of the pros of cloning.
1. It can help prevent the extinction of species
As many organisms in the planet approach endangerment and extinction, cloning appears to be a possible solution to restore populations. By utilizing the genetic material of already dead organisms, cloning can even expand gene pool diversity.
- Aside from that, the cloning of extinct animals and their successful revival will also allow scientists to fully study the species as living organisms, instead of just studying their remains.
- Although considered an artificial reproduction mode, cloning is widespread in a natural setting. The oldest form of cloning, asexual reproduction, is exhibited by various organisms like insects, and microorganisms.
2. It can help increase food production
Another major advantage of cloning is that it can serve as a means to increase agricultural production, particularly livestock and fresh produce. By manipulating their biological processes, existing traits of interest are ensured with the absence of the genetic “lottery” and random arrangements in the genes during meiosis.
- During cloning, the gene of interest, as well as the organism bearing that gene of interest, is replicated faster than those undergoing the natural process.
- Because of this, the number of organisms produced at a given time also increases.
3. It can help couples who want to have children
Last but not the least is the use of cloning as a means to produce children for infertile and same-sex couples. Normally, couples would want to have children that are biologically theirs. Interestingly, the genetic manipulations could now be targeted at giving the children the genetic traits of both parents.
- Children can now be produced even without donor eggs or donor sperms. Same-sex couples would only need a “surrogate” parent to carry the clone until its birth.
- Scientists who support this method believe that it would become justifiable for these couples to reproduce in this method, assuming the procedures could be done safely.
Cons of Cloning
Although cloning promises considerable advantages for research and industries, the endpoint is only sometimes certain because of the high risks of losses and morbidity of organisms during their development. Aside from that, the mere process of cloning remains to be elucidated. The following are some of its most common cons.
1. The process is not entirely safe and accurate
Despite being genetically identical with each other, clones will not be the same regarding behavioral attributes. Aside from that, their similarities regarding physical appearance are not guaranteed.
- It should be important to note that genetic material is not the sole determinant of these characteristics.
- Of course, chances that a pair of clones will be subjected to different habitats and have varying nutritional loads are very high, thus imprinting different changes and contributions to each one.
- Aside from that, most clones produced have had reduced longevity and developed health problems. For instance, Dolly the sheep had abnormalities in her DNA (i.e., shortened telomeres), suggesting that some of her own cells bear the “age” of the source organisms.
2. It is regarded as unethical, and the probability of abuse is very high
One of the strongest arguments against cloning is about its ethical concerns. Aside from the idea of manipulating living organisms, critics say that the mere process of clone production requires the exploitation of life.
- In the case of Dolly, the sheep, more than 277 attempts were conducted before a viable clone was produced. This only suggests that if humans were to be cloned, scientists would need to conduct numerous “failed” attempts.
- With that, critics highly believe that it would be unethical to clone humans unless these problems become known and be resolved at a level of certainty.
3. The offspring lack genetic uniqueness
Majority of the concerns against cloning are based on the absence of unique nuclear DNA in the child’s genome. However, as mentioned above, the notion that cloning would only result in the absence of genetic uniqueness would no longer be justifiable, assuming that the procedures are conducted safely.
- Again, the process of cloning still needs further studies.
4. It is not yet fully-developed
To date, many scientists will agree that the process of cloning is not yet fully developed to be used as a way to promote the conservation of species. Some researchers need to acknowledge cloning as it fails to recognize the main drivers of extinction in the first place: the destruction of habitats and hunting.
- Critics also argue that even if cloning could help in desperate times, present techniques to execute these goals are deemed ineffective in making a difference.
- As compared with cloning domestic organisms (e.g., cattle), the process of cloning endangered species is more difficult and would likely take years (and even decades) to complete.
- While there are many reasons why countless attempts to revive endangered and extinct species have failed, they all exhibited one major trouble: they were not exact copies of their supposed-to-be counterparts.
Overall, scientific research developments go faster than the actual and real needs of humans, who are the ultimate recipients of such progress. Because of that, there is a pressing need to determine whether such practical applications are timely or are indeed necessary for human survival.
To date, many people still believe that the process of cloning itself is not ethical. Many countries have prohibited all research and actual cloning processes, making it. Nevertheless, the process of cloning is still up for further studies.
Cite This Page
BioExplorer.net. (2023, February 23). Top 7 Pros and Cons of Cloning. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/pros-and-cons-of-cloning.html/.
BioExplorer.net. "Top 7 Pros and Cons of Cloning" Bio Explorer, 23 February 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/pros-and-cons-of-cloning.html/.
BioExplorer.net. "Top 7 Pros and Cons of Cloning" Bio Explorer, February 23 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/pros-and-cons-of-cloning.html/.
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- Human cloning could resolve fertility issues. ...
- Human cloning could lead to medical advancements. ...
- Human cloning unlocks the benefits of genetic modification. ...
- Human cloning could help us recover faster from devastating injuries. ...
- Human cloning reduces issues of socioeconomic equality.
These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell's chromosomes.What are 3 facts about cloning? ›
February 22, 1997 - Scientists reveal Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from cells of an adult animal. She was actually born on July 5, 1996. 1998 - More than 50 mice are reportedly cloned from a single mouse over several generations. Separately, eight calves are reportedly cloned from a cow.What are 3 positive aspects of cloning? ›
Cloning finds applications in genetic fingerprinting, amplification of DNA and alteration of the genetic makeup of organisms. It can be used to bring about desired changes in the genetic makeup of individuals thereby introducing positive traits in them, as also for elimination of negative traits.What is one advantage and disadvantage of clone? ›
An dlien DNA is linked with the origin of replication so that this alien piece of DNA can replicate and multiply itself in the host organism. This is known as cloning Advantage.It can produce desired microbes in large quantity Disadvantage.What are the disadvantages and negatives to cloning? ›
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.
|Cloning Pros||Cloning Cons|
|Cloning can help with organ transplantations||Humans should not play God|
|Cloning can help to preserve genes||Unclear long-term risks related to cloning|
|Cloning may help the human species survive||Cloning may lead to psychological disorders|
The most straightforward reason why someone may want to reproduce through cloning is to have a genetically related child. Cloning would enable parents to have a child with a genome identical to that of a person with good health or other desirable characteristics.What are some arguments about cloning? ›
The predominate theme underlying arguments against human cloning is that the cloned child would undergo some sort of physical, social, mental, or emotional harm. Because of these and other concerns, the United Nations and many countries have banned human cloning.How is cloning good for humans? ›
Researchers can use clones in many ways. An embryo made by cloning can be turned into a stem cell factory. Stem cells are an early form of cells that can grow into many different types of cells and tissues. Scientists can turn them into nerve cells to fix a damaged spinal cord or insulin-making cells to treat diabetes.
Cloning has the potential to contribute to improvements in veterinary and human medicine, with the prospect that non-reproductive human cloning strategies might provide future therapies for severe, incurable disease. Any stem cell can turn into any tissue given the appropriate conditions.What are the three 3 types of human cloning? ›
- Gene cloning, which creates copies of genes or segments of DNA.
- Reproductive cloning, which creates copies of whole animals.
- Therapeutic cloning, which creates embryonic stem cells.
Proteins, vaccines, and antibiotics are all produced by the process of cloning. This can include DNA copies, cells, organs, or even the complete animal aid using cloning. In agriculture, cloning is employed to create pest-resistant plants. Cloning is also utilized to create transgenic animals and for gene therapy.How can cloning save lives? ›
Eventually, it might be possible to use therapeutic cloning to grow new organs for transplant, meaning that we'll no longer need to rely on organ donation. It might also be possible to use stem cells to cure or reduce cancers - replacing damaged cancerous cells with brand new healthy copies.Why is cloning good for animals? ›
Clones allow farmers to upgrade the overall quality of their herds by providing more copies of the best animals in the herd. These animals are then used for conventional breeding, and the sexually reproduced offspring become the food producing animals.Who is the first cloned human? ›
27, 2002, Brigitte Boisselier held a press conference in Florida, announcing the birth of the first human clone, called Eve.