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Cloning – Boon Or Bane?



The subject of human cloning is shrouded in controversy, right from its conception. On the other hand therapeutic cloning, which is sometimes misunderstood as reproductive cloning, is not the creation of an offspring but instead, vital stem cells are taken from human embryos, which are then used to generate tissues and organs. These tissues and organs can be then used for transplantation. The ultimate aim of this process is strictly to treat diseases such as heart problems, Alzheimer’s and to combat cancer. Since reproductive cloning is used for the conception of a specific offspring possessing specific characteristics, it is much more controversial and has much more at stake than therapeutic cloning. Though there are many advantages of reproductive cloning like individuals having fertility problems would be then able to produce biologically related children. Besides that those couples who are at risk of transferring genetic disease to offspring would be then able to have healthy children. Cloning technology is the primary stage and still needs more technical know-how to achieve the perfection. Human reproductive cloning is temporarily banned because of inadequate technical knowledge, inefficient procedures and is extremely dangerous and ethically irresponsible. Although many mammalian species have been cloned successfully, cloning techniques are still primitive and thus, are prone to failure.

Some animal species, including humans are found to be more resistant to somatic cell nuclear transfer than others, and thus have a poorer success rate. It took 276 nuclear transfer procedures by the Scottish scientists to produce the world’s first cloned animal, Dolly in 1997. The success rate of reproductive cloning remains pale when compared to natural procreation and thus does not justify cloning as a form of reproduction for the time being. The current success rate for reproductive cloning stands one or two viable offspring per 100 experiments. The perils, which arise from reproductive cloning, are many. During mammalian reproductive cloning, a large section of clones suffered from weakened immune systems, which highly reduces the animal’s capability to ward off infections, disease and other health disorders. Besides that many of the offspring produced through cloning suffer abnormalities such as missing or deformed organs.

The foremost uncertainty correlated to reproductive cloning is its impact on the clone’s mental development. While mental features in cloned animals may or may not be significant, but they are vital to the development of a healthy human offspring. Reproductive cloning could possibly put heavy psychological burdens on the cloned offspring. Reproductive cloning only replicates the genetic material of the progenitor, thus the possibility of producing a precise replica will not be possible because both children raised under different environments will have different personalities. Therefore, cloning will merely attempt to fill a void, but difficult to reach a pinnacle where this technique can precisely replicate a human being.

Many other uncertainties linked to mental development of the offspring along with extreme dangers and inefficiency attempting to clone humans for the time being is ethically irresponsible and a foolish act. Human reproductive cloning would be morally wrong as it would convert human procreation into human manufacturing industry. The dangers, inefficiencies, and ethical issues surrounding cloning are many and lack technical expertise. Thus, for the time being, attempt to clone human should be banned until adequate information and technology can safely harness a human clone.

About Romila Chitturi

I call myself a passionate freelance writer with extensive experience across areas of journalism – online and print. I have been awarded many times for my literary works. Started writing at the age of 13 in school and never stopped it. I've translated some of the famous works of well-known Hindi literary personalities into English. I have to my credit various accolades including the winner of the title of Ms. Intellectual (twice) of Super Brain Super Youth India contest conducted annually by ‘Competition Success Review’ magazine. I am a well known essayist writing for competitive magazines and portals of competitive examinations. Born, bred, brought up and educated in New Delhi and Hyderabad. Prefers reading all kinds of literature and hobbies include watching movies to listening to ghazals.

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