Genetic Cloning

The Cure for all Diseases or Doctors playing God?

Genetics is the science that can give us insights into our past, present and even our future life. The question is: Will Genetic cloning give the cure for all diseases or doctors playing God? This is a very complicated and hard to answer question that we will try to approach.

Genetic Cloning can be divided into many subtopics, which we will probably need hours to analyse. We took four of those topics, which we will try to approach. The Four subtopics are: Human Cloning, Pre — implantation Genetic diagnosis, Organ Cloning and Eugenics.

Dolly was the first cloned mammal to be born. Even if that was done with great success, does not change the costs and the technical demand needed. Making cloned babies has real dangers. Terrible mutations could result as well as huge emotional risks to the child. What will it do to a cloned son to look at his dad and see his twin brother, his mum and see his sister in law? The cloned daughter knows she'll have impacted wisdom teeth on her fifteenth birthday, she'll be grey at 40 and suspects mum is giving her music lessons to prove how talented her own genes are. Also there are serious risks of abuse by weirdoes and the powerful.

There are three ways of mammal cloning one of which was used to make Dolly. The three ways are:

Embryo Twinning, Roslin Technique and Honolulu Technique: which is the most complicated.

-Embryo Twinning: Once an egg has been fertilised by sperm it soon starts dividing. When it divides into an eight cell embryo; the eight cells are separated. Those cells can be implanted into the uteri of eight separate mothers. Eight clones will then be born.

-Roslin Technique: Nuclear transfer is the technique used in cloning of adult animals. This procedure requires two cells; a donor cell and a oocyte. Nucleus in the egg cell is replaced by the nucleus from the donor cell. Egg cell is then prompted to begin forming an embryo, which is then transplanted into a surrogate mother.

-Honolulu Technique: A very complicated procedure, which was found by a team of scientists in the university of Hawaii.

Pre - Implantation Genetic Diagnosis is carried out by analysing a human embryo that’s just several days old for sex and genetic defects. At this stage, the embryo consists of only about eight cells. It is more or less the perfect stage in which to undertake this procedure to remove a single cell. The single cell is then given to technicians who will study the chromosomes. Once declared free of major defects, the healthy embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. This procedure is highly complicated, expensive and costs around $8.000.

The procedure used involves in-vitro fertilisation. She has to have drugs to make her have multiple eggs and then the eggs need to be retrieved and placed in a dish with sperm and fertilised, just like for any infertility patient. Birth defects such as Down’s Syndrome and trisomies can be detected. By using this, there’s no need to do tests like the amniocentesis during pregnancy.

Couples, who are at high risk of having children with genetic diseases, will encourage to use the pre-implantation diagnosis in their quest for a healthy baby.

Organ cloning could be the answer for organ transplants. Incompatibility will not be a problem any more. Headless babies can be used for organ production. It is possible to genetically change the egg so that the child is born without a brain. This has been tried with apparent success in frogs by Jonathan Slack and his team while Richard Behringer and his team did the same in rats. Gerontology is another option for cloning. This involves the transplant of young brain and stem cells that can be extracted from embryos in early stage of development, to achieve rejuvenation of the organ. Other idea is that of creating embryos by cloning to produce just a few organs. The cells that are the precursors of the organs would be used to be inserted in the patient. Young brain cells can also be used to cure spinal cord injuries. It can give some answers in terms of theories of ageing. It is a complex and expensive procedure but has the advantage of using young cells.

Can a mad dictator create an army of elite troops using Clones? Even this could ever be possible the resources needed would be huge. Desired traits could be reliably produced in an offspring. If for example, you wanted everyone with brown eyes, you could produce many more with cloning than with breeding. Hitler could have had huge success if he could have reliably produce the Aryan race.

We need gene technology to feed the world and cure disease but we don't need human cloning. We need a biotech summit, a global ban to strongly discourage cloners from making babies and a halt on further research until debate is concluded and laws are in place. Over 170 nations have no gene laws. Regulation in America is almost useless when you can hop on a plane and implant a clone in an hour elsewhere.

We are convinced that human cloning is going to play critical role in the future of our species. We hope we have the opportunities and luck to embark in this exciting journey.

Work Programme:

The project was prepared and presented by Panicos Shangaris and Mohammad Rafei Ahmad.

Panicos Shangaris prepared the following parts:

Human Cloning

Pre- Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

Mohammad Rafei Ahmad prepared the following parts:

Organ Cloning


The pictures were taken from the following URLs:

The information was taken from the following URLs:

Karyotic Development "The Three Ways to Clone Mammals"

The End



Panicos Shangaris &

Mohammad Rafei Ahmad

April 2000

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