“Cloning is an advanced technological invention for producing a genetic twin of a living thing, an organism that starts life with the same genes as its parents. In mammals, DNA is taken from an adult animal and then it is inserted into an egg cell from another animal. This egg then divides into an embryo. The embryo is then transplanted into a surrogate mother and grown to terns. This process has worked in animals like cows, sheep, goats, mice, pigs, while such attempts could not succeed in rabbits, rat, cat, dog, monkey, and horse.”
In 1997, researchers at Scotland’s Roslin Institute, led by embryologist Ian Wilmut reported that they had successfully cloned a sheep—named Dolly, from the cell of an adult ewe. In 1998, scientists at the University of Hawaii, cloned a mouse, creating not only dozens of copies but three generations of cloned clones. In the same year, two research teams succeeded in growing embryonic stem cells.
In November 2001, the scientists were able to clone the first human embryo. From pure scientific analysis, it was an unprecedented milestone in the field of genetic engineering technology, but the news created a fetter among the moralists, governments. US President Mr. George W. Bush condemned human cloning as “morally wrong” “We should not as a society grow life to destroy it,” said the President “The use of embryos to clone is wrong “.
Many US states, including California, have banned cloning and Congress is also considering imposing such a ban. The company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) in Worcester Massachusetts USA, which claimed to clone the first human embryo, said, “This corporation(ACT) is creating human embryos for the sole purpose of killing them and harvesting their cells”. This announcement of ACT provoked angry reactions across Italy and inside the Vatican. Mr. Girolamo Sirchia, the Italian Health Minister, described human cloning as a crime against humanity. The Vatican Archbishop said that the church opposes any form of human conception that was not born from an act of love between husband and wife.
Scientists at ACT said that the experiments were aimed at aiding stems cells research to treat a wide range of diseases providing hope for people with spinal injuries, heart diseases, and other ailments, according to Dr. Robert P. Langa, one of the scientists at ACT, this latest experiment “sets the pace for human therapeutic cloning as a potentially limitless source of immune compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine.” The company claimed that it has no intention of transplanting embryos into a woman’s womb to give birth to a cloned human being. According to scientists, stem cells could provide replacements for various body tissues and organs such as the heart, pancreas, and nervous. system. Indeed stern cells research holds out the promise of a bonanza in tackling a wide range of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders.
When stem cell research could be so beneficial in curing various diseases in human being, then why human cloning is being condemned. The crux of the matter is human cloning shall not be stopped at stem cell research; its potential for gross abuse will make it a virtual Frankenstein.
The opponents of human cloning say that an embryo at any stage of development is a human life, worthy of protection, and any kind of research that entails destroying an embryo is immoral, unethical, no matter how worthy the intent maybe it involves using a human being as means, it turns human life into a commodity and fosters a culture of death umanization. Another group of anti moralists find, such making of fuss against cloning is unreasonable and illogical they ask point-blank, Why do we permit abortion? We permit in Vitro fertilization which creates nine or ten embryos, of which all but one will be destroyed. Worse things are happening in our country where lacs of female fetuses are destroyed by parents, eager to have a male child, with the connivance of doctors.
Scientists have now started talking of designer babies, which make it theoretically possible to genetically engineer our children, with added height or intelligence and removing defective genes or disabilities such as cystic fibrosis or alcoholism. The advocates of human cloning gave a number of arguments as to how cloning could take modern society forward, it could prove a panacea for several diseases.
Every such invention has merits and demerits. Human cloning could be misused to destroy the existing humanity and civilization. We have seen the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the spectrum of germs and chemical warfare Scientists, philosophers, thinkers, philanthropists from all over the world spoke out against human cloning, prompted by fears that the world has taken a step further towards the nightmare of humans replicated in the lab. Human cloning can tear society to pieces, it can endanger the very existence of human being in this world.