Human Cloning.

Human Cloning.

  • Yes, more pros than cons.

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  • I'm not quite sure.

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Jostyrostelli

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Since we are having some serious topics about moral questions, I'd like to introduce a new one. Human Cloning. It was mentioned, I think by MPower in the Abortion thread, and I thought it was interesting to see what you all think about this.

To start of I'll explain in a short read what cloning is, hopefully it will be clear.

Edit: Uhmm, I said short...yeah well..

A picture says more than a thousand words, so maybe this helps:


I found this animation which is simple but understandable, I'm not going scientific here, maybe I'll explain later on, now I just want to hear what you think.
http://gslc.genetics.utah.edu/units/cloning/whatiscloning/twinning.cfm

Little history of Cloning:
History of Cloning

Cloning is not new. Experiments with frogs and toads date back to the 1970s . And experiments involving plants and animal embryos have been performed for years. But experiments involving human beings have never been tried or thought possible, until "Dolly." Her birth shocked the scientific community. Dolly the sheep that was.

Short timeline to show you what happend since the birth of Dolly.

July 5, 1996 Successful clone of adult sheep born; clone named "Dolly" after the famous country singer

February 23, 1997 Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland announce the birth of "Dolly"

March 1997 Following the announcement of "Dolly," President Clinton issues a moratorium that bans the use of federal funds for any project involving human cloning; asks the newly appointed National Bioethics Advisory Board to address the ethical and legal issues surrounding human cloning within three months

August 1997 Clinton proposes legislation banning the cloning of humans for at least 5 years, giving the National Bioethics Board time to assess the risks, and study the ethical and social impact of cloning humans further

September 1997 About 64,000 biologists and physicians sign a voluntary five-year moratorium on human cloning (United States)

early January 1998 Ninteen European nations sign a ban on human cloning. Click here to view these countries

Richard Seed, a physicist from Chicago, announces his plans to perform human cloning experiments before Congress enacts a ban on cloning

January 20, 1998 The Food and Drug Administration announces its authority to regulate human cloning -- it would now be a violation of federal law to try somatic cell transfer (the method used to clone "Dolly" without its approval.

Now, what's the use of cloning, you might wonder? I'll try to sum a few things up. First of all, the pros, after that the cons to keep a balance.

Pros
Rejuvenation:
Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, suggests that it may someday be possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from cloning.

Human cloning technology could be used to reverse heart attacks. Scientists believe that they may be able to treat heart attack victims by cloning their healthy heart cells and injecting them into the areas of the heart that have been damaged. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and several other industrialized countries.

There has been a breakthrough with human stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can be grown to produce organs or tissues to repair or replace damaged ones. Skin for burn victims, brain cells for the brain damaged, spinal cord cells for quadriplegics and paraplegics, hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys could be produced. By combining this technology with human cloning technology it may be possible to produce needed tissue for suffering people that will be free of rejection by their immune systems. Conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, and other problems may be made curable if human cloning and its technology are not banned.

Infertility. With cloning, infertile couples could have children. Despite getting a fair amount of publicity in the news current treatments for infertility, in terms of percentages, are not very successful. One estimate is that current infertility treatments are less than 10 percent successful. Couples go through physically and emotionally painful procedures for a small chance of having children. Many couples run out of time and money without successfully having children. Human cloning could make it possible for many more infertile couples to have children than ever before possible.

Plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery. Because of human cloning and its technology the days of silicone breast implants and other cosmetic procedures that may cause immune disease should soon be over. With the new technology, instead of using materials foreign to the body for such procedures, doctors will be able to manufacture bone, fat, connective tissue, or cartilage that matches the patients tissues exactly. Anyone will able to have their appearance altered to their satisfaction without the leaking of silicone gel into their bodies or the other problems that occur with present day plastic surgery. Victims of terrible accidents that deform the face should now be able to have their features repaired with new, safer, technology. Limbs for amputees may be able to be regenerated.

Breast implants. Most people are aware of the breast implant fiasco in which hundreds of thousands of women received silicone breast implants for cosmetic reasons. Many came to believe that the implants were making them ill with diseases of their immune systems. With human cloning and its technology breast augmentation and other forms of cosmetic surgery could be done with implants that would not be any different from the person's normal tissues.

Defective genes. The average person carries 8 defective genes inside them. These defective genes allow people to become sick when they would otherwise remain healthy. With human cloning and its technology it may be possible to ensure that we no longer suffer because of our defective genes.

Down's syndrome. Those women at high risk for Down's syndrome can avoid that risk by cloning.

Tay-Sachs disease. This is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder could be prevented by using cloning to ensure that a child does not express the gene for the disorder

Liver failure. We may be able to clone livers for liver transplants

Kidney failure. We may be able to clone kidneys for kidney transplants

Leukemia. We should be able to clone the bone marrow for children and adults suffering from leukemia. This is expected to be one of the first benefits to come from cloning technology.

Cancer. We may learn how to switch cells on and off through cloning and thus be able to cure cancer. Scientists still do not know exactly how cells differentiate into specific kinds of tissue, nor to they understand why cancerous cells lose their differentiation. Cloning, at long last, may be the key to understanding differentiation and cancer.

Cystic fibrosis. We may be able to produce effective genetic therapy against cystic fibrosis. Ian Wilmut and colleagues are already working on this problem.

Spinal cord injury. We may learn to grow nerves or the spinal cord back again when they are injured. Quadriplegics might be able to get out of their wheelchairs and walk again. Christopher Reeves, the man who played Superman, might be able to walk again.

Testing for genetic disease. Cloning technology can be used to test for and perhaps cure genetic diseases.


Cons - Anmials
Animal rights could be considered violated.

Cloning is not cheap. We have better things to spend our money on.

Technology barriers exists at the moment so that cloning is unrealistic. It took 277 tries to successfully clone Dolly.

Cloning animals brings about animals who are owned, labeled, sold, and copyrighted.

Cloning isn't exact. Over generations the cloned will be riddled with genetic flaws due to errors being exemplified through each cloning.

Cons - Humans
Humans are sentient beings, they are not made to be specimens. They are of free will.

Ability to produce "superhumans".

Countries could clone armies (That sentence scare's me)

If humans can be cloned, it makes them property, which can be sold. Inhumane.

If cloning is relied upon for reproduction and we lose the ability to clone, everyone will have the same genotype and to reproduce would be a sick twist of inbreeding.

If everyone has the same genotype, a disease that is fatal for that genotype wipes out the human race.

So if you came this far and didn't close the browser already: my opinion to start with.

I think cloning should be forbidden. If you have read all the pros (sure that's not all, I picked a few) you see that all have to do with "improve the human being". An example: rejuvenation. That is SO sick in my opinion.
I don't believe in God but I do think something created all this around us. My instinct tells me not to mess with that. Don't mess with the human body, we were born that way, accept it. Don't try to make "superhumans" as I stated in the cons. I don't think people should be changing human beings genetically to make sure they don't have the Down Syndrome. I don't think there is anything wrong with the Down Syndrome. Those people are not bad, neither is the Syndrome itself. I don't know too much about the Syndrome, but I mean, they are not hurting me, so I don't see a problem with that. I'm pretty much against all things that have to do with cosmetics and "improving your body to look better".
I do think the benefits like transplants are very good, I know how long the lists are and young people who are waiting for an organ just die if they are not high enough on the list. That's terrible.
But the main question is, I think, how far do you have to go with cloning? When I first thought of cloning, I thought of making replicas of people. I dont see the whole point of that, but cloning, as in making transplants for people who really need it is a very good goal to proceed with that kind of cloning.

I could go on for a couple of pages but I'll leave it like this.

Have fun reading it :)
 

swek

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Human engineering can (only) lead to the creation of standardized human attributes. The question you posed in your text will arrise. Who decides which kind of Humans are worthy to be born ? And how will society deal with those who don't fit in that concept.

Gattaca gave us a preview of what might happen. Humans aren't ready to deal with that kind of situation. There will be discrimination. Non standardized people might not be able to get high profile jobs or extremely expensive insurance because they are more likely to die of diseases.

Furthermore Darwin might come into effect. All Lifeforms with the same genotype are likely to be swept away from one gigantic disease. Missing diversity means that there might be no one resistent to a new disease. This wouldn't happen if we had diversity in our genotype.

About the cloning. Some might say it could be right if we'll only clone certain body parts (Liver etc.). While this might be a legitimate reason I don't thin that we'll be able to stop there. Once this will be archieved we will expand our abilities on complete cloning.

Therefore I am against it.
 

MPower

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I say that it is okay to research but it far too early to begin the process in the public market. Human cloning has great potential... just look what cloning has done for the agricultural industry.
 

hanasand

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Fuck that's just wrong. Any way you put it about it only being used in
specific cases (healing sick people, creating life for two lesbians and so on..)
it will only lead to the rich being able to pay themselves into healthy children,
and so it can evolve into designer-kids. That's not something I would want.
That technology is really scary to because so many wrong things can happen.
My maths teacher (she has biology as well) recently told me very few people know
that this cloned sheep Dolly actually died after like two years of organ failure. That's
similar to what happens when a brother and sister creates a baby. It's something about
like 40% of the DNA is supposed to be thrown away or renewed in the process of
creating new life, and when you don't, strange things happen. She gave me an example
of a 50 year old man giving DNA to create a clone of himself, the clone would never
be able to reach more than 40 years of age because of his stemcells have already
sort of been there for 50 years.

So much can go wrong with this stuff, and when or if we ever make it safe and reliable
it would be highly unethical to let those who can afford it design their kids to some
extend. But banning the science on it seems to nazi/religious so that would be wrong
to, it's just going to get dangerous when the technology becomes too acessible...
 

Jostyrostelli

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So Hanasand, what if government says "We'll only use it to make enough transplants for people who need it hard".
If it would be possible and it's 100% sure there are no errors in the system, I'd say, go for it. But only but strict regulations.
 

hanasand

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Well I never said I disagree with it, it's just that I don't believe that they could ever
restrict it to only being government technology. Sooner or later it would hit the market,
perhaps underground/illegal, and that's when things get unethical..

If it would truly be technology in the governments hands and used for such purposes
I think it would be great..
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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I've thought it over and I think that if the science could be perfected, and the practice highly regulated, then it should be legal.

There are definately a huge amount of kinks that would need to be ironed out, but I can just picture a world where people don't get sick, or diseases, and don't need sleep etc.

Genetic engineering/cloning is probably the next step in human evolution. It's all very scary, now I know why old people don't like computers.
 

Daniel

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Everyone of you should watch Andrew Niccols feature "Gattaca" from '97 with Ethan Hawke.

I must say that I think cloning is really scary, and cloning hearts and stuff seems right if it saves life. It is very scary though. It will only lead to human cloning wich should always be illegal. You just dont play around with nature.
 

chaos386

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Okay, I have a hypothetical situation: suppose human cloning has been going on for a while and research has started to extend into the realm of genetic engineering of humans. Let's say companies have started making offers to rich couples for "create-a-kid," where you can pick and choose the traits your future child has, and possibly add in new traits (gills perhaps). Now, obviously companies would patent the process and they might want to copyright some of the DNA, like they do for genetically engineered food.

Case 1: They do get a copyright on the DNA. Would your future child then have to pay royalties when he wants to have children because they will have 50% of his copyrighted DNA?

Case 2: They don't get to copyright the DNA, or they do but people circumvent the royalties process (born in another country, non-official birth, etc.), and the company now must find a way to protect it's "intellectual property." They turn to their agricultural sector, which today has "terminating genes" to prevent farmers from reusing seeds from GM crops. They make the same kind of genes for their "create-a-kid," so if your child ever wants to have a kid who shares some of his genes (i.e. doesn't want to adopt), he has to go to the company to get one.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I think this is all very new and uncharted territory we'd be going into with human cloning. We need time to assess the situation (which the moratoria should do), and governments need time to determine the structure of laws appropriate for the field and the possible industry it would give birth to. No pun intended
 

Jostyrostelli

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I thought I'd mentioned this in my first post here, but I think in the US there is already a possibility to say "I want a kid with blue eyes, and I want it to be a girl".
No sure if it's already been practised in the clinics/labs whatever, but I think there actually would be a great demand for "perfect kids'. Cause people just want to make sure that their baby will be healthy and beautiful so it won't be bullied at school.
I'm against it 100% but I still think it WILL come.
 

chaos386

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I also think it'd be kind of sad world if we'll have people leaving kids at orphanages and abandoning babies, while at the same time infertile couples will be using cloning to have kids. :bangin:

But on a lighter note, what if some crazily unrealistic sci-fi situation happened?

The year is 2066, scientists have finally discovered a way to make cells that will allow people to live forever. To test out their discovery, they create prototype human 001. However, due to the instability of the cells, 001's entire body turns cancerous, growing uncontrollably and devouring everything in its path. The world is about to meet:

[Cosby]The Tumour That Ate New York City![/Cosby]
 

bigfoot1942

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i think cloning (on humans) should be forbidden for one major reason:
i think the parents would expect certain things that are unhealthy to the soul of the child (the clone).

i think the parent (thats been cloned) would think he understands everything the child experience, and it would expect the same hobbies etc, i think it would be very demanding of the child to live up to all expectations: it would be impossible to live up to them.
its sick to do that to a child.
 

hanasand

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I thought I'd mentioned this in my first post here, but I think in the US there is already a possibility to say "I want a kid with blue eyes, and I want it to be a girl".
No sure if it's already been practised in the clinics/labs whatever, but I think there actually would be a great demand for "perfect kids'. Cause people just want to make sure that their baby will be healthy and beautiful so it won't be bullied at school.
I'm against it 100% but I still think it WILL come.
I thought I heard myself for a minute there.

This is what's going to happen, and it's going to be really really disguisting.
Who wants to live a life knowing that you have been designed, it sort
of eliminates personality
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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I don't think the core of a person is defined by their genes. Identical twins are born with the same DNA, and they really are different.

I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of genetic engineering rather than cloning. Making an exact copy of someone seems a little pointless - it is like giving someone an identical twin. Maybe it would be cool to have a twin to relate to...
 

Viper007Bond

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If we start, where do we stop? "Oh, just a little further."

While it'd have it's advantages, the potential cons are just too great.
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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It could be a trillion dollar industry, and with the US economy in such a tough spot we can't afford to take any risks. :lol:
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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Let me try out a few of these babies:

Who are you to decide whether or not someone should be allowed to clone themself?

It must be because you guys are religious fanatics.
 

bigfoot1942

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
Let me try out a few of these babies:

Who are you to decide whether or not someone should be allowed to clone themself?
Who are you to decide whether or not someone should be allowed to drive 150MPH through city-centers?
-because there are other people involved. (/at risk)

the clones are people as well.
 
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