To Clone Or Not To Clone Is The Question!


Just imagine! Having a clone, an exact identical to replace your loved one (father, mother, son, daughter, pet) after their unexpected demise! How nice to have an identical person just like the one you lost? Wouldn’t it help to lessen the sorrow a bit? Making use of technology for the benefit of mankind is what all actually desire. But, are the benefits of cloning as beneficial? Or, are the repercussions of making exact genetic copy of another not without danger and exploitation?

Using the Technology of Cloning for Replicating Mankind

Sometimes, I wonder do we really know what cloning is all about. The last we heard (at least I heard) was the news about a possible cloning of humans. Before that, I had heard of the early demise of Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult DNA. She had to be put to sleep because of the cancer and arthritis that was troubling her immensely.  Cloning an animal is making an exact copy of that being while cloning a gene is copying the DNA sequence of that gene into a smaller DNA piece. A clone is actually a much younger identical twin of the specimen from whom the gene is taken. Of course, the original and the clone will have different set of fingerprints and will also have different personalities.

Many people have fears about this new field of technology that will make a replica of humans. Some cite religion saying that cloning cannot be justified as it would be going against the law of nature.

‘God didn’t intend it to be this way,’ they say.

Some fear that many negative characters will be created once again due to cloning causing problems in an already miserable world.

There are others who say that such a product or human being (a cloned one) will only be treated as a second class citizen as he/she is born out of a new mode of technology. They will be discriminated against, we are told for being born differently. If cloning was legalized, would we be heading towards a stage where people are cloned the moment they die like in the movie ‘The 6th Day?’

There are genuine fears like there were fears when science was made use of to invent and put those inventions into action for the benefit of the whole of mankind. Even then, religious beliefs and God were taken as reasons to not make use of the scientific developments. Later, as time passed, people realized the value of it all and they began to accept it. Maybe, cloning is something like that? Or is it?  About the fear of negative characters being cloned and armies of destruction formed, all clones are like twins, maybe same in looks but different in nature, behavior and habits. After all, not all twins are identical in thoughts and actions. They are different personalities. The same applies here and when they are born later, it becomes more apparent that genetics alone cannot determine behavior. It is the environment too with different memories for different people (the clones and the originals). So, if a gene from say Hitler was taken for cloning you might even get a musician or a priest for a personality, very unlike the original Hitler. About clones being discriminated against, that’s a possibility even for ordinary non-cloned persons like us. Cloning is like any other means of producing a child like say, vitro fertilization or any method that helps in procreation.

Where cloning could possibly be of real help (keeping aside all fears and worries) is like in transplant when cloning could help people who have lost some part of their bodies in an accident or a war. Imagine how much help that would be. Many women who are unable to become mothers could make use of cloning to have that child of ‘their own.’  Of course, there are the usual dangers like black marketing of fetuses from donors.  But, that is a risk that any new scientific technology carries. The hidden queries about the probable harm that cloning could cause will always be there. With such a technology in hand, cloning could improve life and fight disease but it could also mentally and physically harm humans. But, it seems to be a reality what with research on to clone humans. Why don’t we spend more time, energy and money on destroying poverty, ignorance and crime instead?

We have a choice or don’t we? Will be interested to know what you feel.

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10 thoughts on “To Clone Or Not To Clone Is The Question!

  1. Well, this is a age-old debate. Your last point was well and true – we already have enough problems created because of our earlier forays into new technologies and ideas i.e. globalization,

  2. globalization, excess-technology and freedom of access. I do agree cloning is useful for some certain sets of people, but overall, cloning needs more research and more debate. We need to keep in mind that we are slowly approaching a point where even the world population will stabilize at around 10 billion. So why not work towards making sure that this populace remains healthy and safe, instead of working on new issues? Solve the old issues first before making a radical technology useful.

    BTW, I loved 6th Day. It showed the process of cloning in a negative light, but then it highlighted some key issues too.

  3. all of these technical advances help our earthly world but there are always problems. they all come about with good intentions but as usual, because of human nature, turns bad if it is not regulated. I worry about the wrong message being given. I think about the fine line between truth and deception, reality and delusions. I think cloning can aid in feeding the delusional part of life. Not being able to accept that the real, Mrs or Mr. Whatever, is gone.
    there is more to life than what we are seeing. We cannot forget that. at least, I believe that.

  4. It’s not only a difficult question, it is also a very emotional one. At my age I shouldn’t, for instance, think of cloning my husband, because I am probably too old to start raising a child. When the clone is an adult, he would still be 60+ years younger than I am. On the other hand, a young woman, whose little child has died, might be tempted to clone the child. If the cause of death was disease, then the clone might die of the same disease when he or she reaches the same age. Not only that, but a child being raised by someone who expects him or her to behave as the dead child did, is at a disadvantage: the first child was raised by a happy mother, while the second, in all likelihood, will be raised by an emotionally distraught mother.
    I once had a wonderful cat. He was intelligent, well-behaved, and friendly. He loved babies, kittens and puppies, and would let them climb all over him. He could tell when people were suffering, and stayed with them to comfort them. If I’d had him cloned, and the new kitten underwent some sort of trauma, like being bitten by a big dog, he would likely not have the same easy-going personality.
    On the other hand, my husband and I have a beautiful dog who had been abandoned before we adopted her. She now imagines we’re going to abandon her every time we leave the house. We could, however, raise a clone from puppyhood, and she would probably not have the same separation anxiety. The idea is, theoretically, interesting.
    But it is fraught with problems, this cloning question, problems which are certainly beyond me.

  5. It is like doing the research on ‘Big Bang’ theory costing millions, finally leading to more complications. As stated by you, we have enough problems to be solved first before experimenting in these areas.

    Hari

  6. Sometimes when work load is tremendous, a thought troubles the mind,”if only the day was of 48 hours instead of 24 or I had ten hands instead of only two. Better still, if only I had a xeroxed version of myself who could perform with me simultaneously the work which I alone could not possibly finish on time having so many of them on hand” Yes, the idea of having a clone during such times is exhilarating. But on a more serious note, we should not play God in the name of scientific experimentation or advancement. Remember Frankenstein and what it led to? And I agree with you there are many more serious issues world over to take care of! We have still not found answers to fatal diseases like Cancer! What of that? An age-old debate which can go on and on and on……..

  7. While it would be possible to physically clone another person, you wouldn’t be able to clone that persons life experiences or memories, which means that it wouldn’t really be a replica of that person at all. Just the packaging would be the same.

  8. sue j :
    While it would be possible to physically clone another person, you wouldn’t be able to clone that persons life experiences or memories, which means that it wouldn’t really be a replica of that person at all. Just the packaging would be the same.

    No,,,, Your all life experiences are present in yours single cell…so cloning means that the person cloned should not feel new. also accept his/her original version…:P

  9. Hey there,

    I had noticed your page about molecular biology here and thought you might be interested in helping get the word out about AddGene.

    musenmotivation.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/to-clone-or-not-is-the-question/

    AddGene is a non-profit plasmid repository dedicated to helping scientists with sharing plasmids. This helps scientists with the use of plasmids for research and discoveries that can help us all. It would be great if you could just mention AddGene on your site, whether it just be a link on the page I had noticed or another page that you think would work.

    Also, they had made an educational graphic to help people learn about plasmid cloning called PlasmidLand. If you would like to share that please do just by copying and pasting the text below the graphic to easily put it on your site.

    We really appreciate you helping to get the word out about AddGene and the great work they are doing in the science industry. Thank you ahead of time if you choose to help out and if not, that’s ok, I still appreciate your time.

    Sincerely,

    Micheal Jean

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