Cloning…Is Man Defying Nature?

Cloning…Is Man Defying Nature?

          As children, at some point of time or the other, we have all hoped for having someone else go to school or take an exam on our behalf, without actually the teacher knowing it all! Well, you’ll be surprised to know that today the science of cloning has made this very much possible.

          Cloning is a conception of an organism which has an identical genotype. Imagine having someone whose every strand of DNA is indistinguishable to yours!

          The discovery of cloning was marked by the first mammal clone Dolly, the sheep in 1997. Cloning is conducted via two procedures, the Artificial Embryo Twinning and the Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. The former procedure is an imitation of the natural process of creating identical twins, the only difference being that unlike the natural twins wherein the zygote itself divides into two embryos in the mother’s body, here the process is done artificially in a petri dish and the resulting embryos are positioned into a surrogate mother.

          The latter utilizes an elevated technological approach. Before going into details of this methodology, one needs to understand that all the cells in our body except for the reproductive cells are known as somatic cells and the nucleus of a cell is the principal location of all information. In this procedure of cloning, the nucleus of a somatic cell replaces that of a reproductive cell. This is exactly how Dolly was produced with the same genetic constitution as the adult sheep. The fundamental differentiation between fertilization and SCNT is that fertilization produces a zygote with chromosomes of the two parents involved. However, in SCNT the chromosomes are donated by a single individual.

          The issue of using the technology of cloning is highly debatable. It raises a question on our morality. There are couples wanting to clone their dead children and more than eager to rescue are cloning companies like clonaid started by Rael, the leader of an international religious group floating the view that life originated on Earth through extra-terrestrials by means of genetic engineering. With the coming in of this news, the American politicians introduced a legislation to bar human cloning. President Bush affirmed that he would sign any bill outlawing cloning in the US. There are others who opine that years ago the US Supreme Court recognized reproductive rights that the government cannot challenge and in light of that it would be illogical to make cloning illegal.

          90 percent of the US society opposes human cloning. But will the yearning of some to reproduce take over? Human cloning may be just a matter of time. Are we as a society equipped to deal with its consequences?

Cloning…Is Man Defying Nature?