Cloning

The first thing that must be cleared up is what is cloning, and what is a clone. A clone is an organism derived asexually from a single individual by cuttings, bulbs, tubers, fission, or parthenogenesis reproduction ("Cloning", 1997). Pathogenesis reproduction is the development of an organism from an unfertilized ovum, seed or spore ("Pathogenesis", 1997). So cloning, biologically speaking, is any process in which production of a clone is successful. Therefore, the biological term cloning is the production of a genetically identical duplicate of an organism. However, people can use the word cloning to intend other meanings. For instance, we generalize many older and new techniques as cloning. This is not a good practice because these techniques are different and impose unique concerns and issues. In the world of scientific technology, cloning is the artificial production of organisms with the same genetic material. Scientists actually call the transferring of a nucleus from the cell of one organism to an enucleated egg cell, nuclear transfer (Wilmut 811). This will produce an organism that has the exact genetic material as that of the donor cell. Scientists are using current techniques exceedingly more, and with a variety of species. Astonishingly, more clones are present in the world than one would think. In nature, and even in the lives of humans, clones are present. As stated earlier, a clone is an organism that has the same genetic information as another organism. From this we can say that cloning occurs with all plants, some insects, algae, unicellular organisms that conduct mitosis or binary fission, and occasionally by all multi-cellular organisms, including humans. Monozygotic twins, or identical twins, are clones of each other. They have the same exact genetic information due to the division of an embryo early in development, which produces two identical embryos. About eight million identical twins are alive in the world; thus, already eight million human clones inhabit the world. Today, the only cloning research is occurring in scientific model organisms. These are organisms that research scientists from around the globe have collected abundant amounts of data. All this data is necessary so that advancements in research can continue more efficiently. The most common scientific models are E. coli, mice, fruit flies, and frogs. The first organisms that were cloned using nuclear transfer were frogs. This is because they have large egg cells and scientists can obtain up to two thousand of them from one ovulation. (McKinnel 79) Successful cloning has occurred with livestock. The drive toward success is not because livestock like cows and sheep are model organisms. Instead, the farming industry has made and continues to make a big effort toward finding a way to implement the technique of nuclear transfer for livestock. Research in cloning is also occurring in primates. The reason for studying primates is the similarities with humans. This leads us to the most talked about aspects of cloning, the use of the techniques with human cells and eggs. Cloning of humans in a biological sense already has and is occurring. Scientists are researching by splitting embryos to execute experiments to find data relating to cell differentiation, the use of stem cells, and genetic screening. Amazingly, genetic screening is occurring in Britain quite often. Fertility clinics aim this service toward couples where the mother or father has a genetic disorder. A fertility clinic will clone an embryo, then test it for genetic disorders. If the embryo tests negative for genetic disorders, then the fertility clinic implants a clone of that embryo. This should guarantee that the child would not have any genetic disorders. (Benoit 2) Amazingly, the first attempts at artificial cloning were as early as the beginning of this century. Adolph Eduard Driesch allowed the eggs of a sea urchin develop into the two-blastomere stage. Then he separated it by shaking it in a flask and allowing them to grow. The cells developed into dwarf sea urchins. Driesch could not explain his experiments and gave up embryology for philosophy (McKinnel 19). During the late seventies and early eighties, there were few scientists still studying cloning. Many had predicted that it was impossible to clone embryonic mammal cells. Few continued with research. Many gave up and went into other fields. However, some persisted and were rewarded for their efforts. In