Human Cloning and The Hurdles
Dolly was the first mammal that was cloned. She was a sheep that was cloned using an adult cell. Many believed that it was the first step towards cloning humans and that we will see a human clone soon within a few years. But that never happened. Some people believed that cloning of humans will have a major role to play in eradication of different genetic diseases. Many people also believed that birth defects will be eliminated because of cloning.
However, research shows that cloning may well increase
birth defects. So, it has been almost two decades that dolly
was cloned but we are still without a human clone. Is human
cloning not feasible, not ethical, technologically
impossible? Let's go through the details.
Cloning Humans and Ethical Concerns
Cloning as we know is performed to develop copies of any biological entity through genetical procedures. But there are several ethical concerns surrounding cloning of humans that range from physiological, social, and psychological aspects and risk. Many believe that cloning can result in loss of life and can be used for eugenics. Those against cloning consider it against principles of equality, freedom, and human dignity. Moreover, over the years, we have seen that cloning in mammals causes increased death rates and clones also develop abnormalities. Additionally, a human clone will not be an identical copy. The clone will have his own thoughts as well as decision-making capabilities and opinions.
We are already familiar with clones. We see them every day
in the form of identical twins. But we also know that
identical twins are not the same person. The similarity ends
at genetic makeup. original person and the clone has rest of
the things are very different. According to the environment
they grow up in.
What are the benefits of human clones?
Even if we ignore ethical concerns, there are hardly any benefits of cloning humans. However, such human clones can be used for research purpose. There are some potential advantages of cloning humans. But those have become redundant because of recent scientific discoveries and developments. For example, there was a belief that cloned embryos can be used for production of stem cells that are identical to stem cells of the donor.
This theory became irrelevant when discovery was made of
iPSCs or adult cells that are capable of resembling cells
that are in early stages of development. Thus cloning is not
that exciting aspect for scientific research any more. Focus
has now shifted to topics like genome editing which can be
used for creating super babies. Research on genome editing
is moving ahead to understand. Causes for diseases and their