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Human Cloning

 
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Human Cloning: Right or Wrong
Should be Legal
66%
 66%  [ 10 ]
Should stay Illegal
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 15

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AAATripper



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Human Cloning Reply with quote

Should it be legal or illegal? Feared or applauded? I need opinions for my Junior research paper and I've turned to aLp to get them for me. Leave long rantings about your thoughts here because I have all the time in the world to read them and if you must use statistics, please make sure they're accurate (62% of all statistics are made up on the spot...)
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Munan
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this did not came with a short column, I moved this to General B.S. All threads in The Soapbox section should start with a short piece (minimum of, say, 400 words), as pointed out in the introductory message in that section.

If you decide to enlarge your post by writing such a column, I will move it back to the Soapbox. It is an interesting topic.
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure which aspect of cloning your paper is on, reproductive or therapeutic, or if you're coming from a scientific or ethical point of view, but here are my thoughts..

Well, the first issue around human cloning isn't whether it should be legal or not - it's whether it can be done or not. The ability to simply clone another human being in a science-fiction sense is still beyond us in terms of the technology (Cloning of plant cell-lines is another matter, and is routinely carried out, particularly in the case of rare or unusual ornamental types where normal reproduction of the organism is either not possible, or would result in the loss of desirable characteristics like colour, petal form etc).

The cloning of an animal individual is currently undertaken using a process known as SCNT, or somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the genetic material of the individual to be cloned is taken from an egg cell, and transplanted into another egg (of the same species) whose nucleus, and therefore genetic material has been removed. The reconstructed egg is then chemically or electrically treated to stimulate cell division, following which it is implanted into a female host where it gestates as normal. Sounds great, but in truth the cloned animal is not a true clone, since a part of the genetic makeup of the new individual comes from the mitochondria of the host cell, rather than all coming from the donor individual. The other main drawback is that cloned individuals tend to suffer from all sorts of genetic and somatic anomalies which make them sickly, often infertile themselves and generally having very poor life expectancy (just like poor old Dolly the sheep), if they actually survive gestation and birth at all. The same technique is often used to try to breed new individuals of an extremely endangered species, such as the gaur, with extremely limited success (the only successful gaur cloning, Noah, died after just a few days from dysentery).

In other words, we're still a long way from the 6th day...

The main ethical debate around cloning at the moment doesn't come from reproductive cloning, however, but rather from therapeutic cloning, where human embryos are cloned using the above technique, and then harvested for stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells with the ability to become any of the cell lines in an adult body (organs and tissues). The possibilities for medical science are obviously amazing, but the issue is that the cloned embryo is destroyed in the process (when I say embryo, it is really just a ball of cells known as a blastocyst at this stagem having only been dividing for a few days). Personally, I am not particularly pro-life in this regard - to me it really is just a ball of cells at this stage, but many people believe that even at this stage it is a new life with a soul, conciousness etc, and from this stems the controversy.

Lastly, even if it were possible to clone an entirely new human being, the new, cloned individual, while it would be genetically identical to the original, it may not be physically identical. The environment has a huge effect on the development of an individual, and more and more science is starting to realise that an individual's genotype is more like a set of guidelines that is realised by the chemical and physical environment. This actual, realised genotype is known as the phenotype. Even if it were identical, the cloned individual certainly would not think or act the same way - we are each a product of our experiences and memories, and genetics has a small (admittedly important) bearing on our identity.

Really lastly!, why would you want to clone a new person? - we aren't short of people, and, quite frankly, we should really be looking for ways to limit our reproduction given the impending food, and more importantly water, shortages facing our planet. In terms of therapeutic cloning - I personally am all for it; an embryo that young simply isn't a person as far as I'm concerned, and stem-cell research offers the possibility of organ and nerve regeneration that is beyond us by any other means at the moment. I completely respect the beliefs of those who think otherwise, however; it should be interesting to see how the debate goes over the next few years.
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cfos



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much left to say. I'm for stem cells. Interestingly, there was a story on NPR yesterday coinciding with the Koren's retraction from Science. You may find some lay resources here, but please don't copy *L*

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7555718
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arse! I knew I'd left something out! The tragedy, of course, of the whole Korean incident is that many young promising researchers that were attached to that group and had nothing to do with the data falsification have had their whole careers blighted... Awful...
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cfos



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"... many young promising researchers that were attached to that group and had nothing to do with the data falsification have had their whole careers blighted... Awful..."

Indeed. So it goes.
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Spock



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that you bring this issue up on this particular day. In class, we were just discussing (quite actively) the controversy of cloned cow meat. I am not exactly opposed to it, since there aren't really any short or long term effects (so far) that are directly connected with cloned meat. However, what most were opposed to is the fact that they don't indicate on their packages whether the meat is cloned or not. This creates paranoia and such.

However, answering your question, I am opposed to cloning. Because, what exactly would the point be of cloning humans? Where's the point in replicating DNA strands and accelerating mitosis/meiosis to create more humans? Answer? To me, none. As of this point, the only use of cloning would be "keeping family members alive," or "extra soliders (Clone Wars, hehe)."

Secondly, cloning creates as much controversy as stem cell research. In Mexico, there is a doctor who is using stem cells to cure pain issues with osteoperosis and other bone issues. An older woman was having issues with osteoperosis, and clamied she didn't care what he was using, just as long as she was cured. This creates the mindset that most people could care less about using stem cells, while others are stubbornly skeptical about using it.

Lastly, I feel that cloning could create genetic defects, because let's face it. Humans wouldn't have the first damned idea how to replicate DNA. Just leave it to the damn cells to do it naturally. The human genome is massive, and no person has enough time in their life to exactly replicate a whole person.

That's what I feel. Oh yeah, if you use any of this that I typed, credit it to me Wink
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Bloo



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Human cloning? If by this you mean EVERYTHING on a human too, like money cloning, then I'm all for it. It should stay legal, so that money production won't waste the materials and production costs needed, and so that there will be less violence issues including our green friend.

I mean, we can even clone pencils if they were in the pocket of the human!

...Yeah, sarcastic. But should it be possible soon enough, it should be legal by all means.
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AAATripper



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I say Human cloning, I mean the whole broad topic i.e.: organ printing, cloning humans for parts, cloning humans for other purposes, or cloning humans just to delay inbreeding for awhile (just in case the last male in a family just can't seem to "pass on his genes.")
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Bloo



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. Then I'm all for it. Unless humans are more of a bitch to earth in the distant future.
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Spock



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The proof that there is intelligent life in the universe is it's failure to make contact with us. That's proof enough that we shouldn't clone ourselves.
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Grimmy



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havent read any of this post. All I wanted to say was that when I saw the title, it made me think that Thanksgiving is coming up, and pictures Cannibals cloning themselves just so they can say they had their family for dinner on thanksgiving!

Grimmy
knows another cannibal joke

Two Cannibal were eating a clown when one turned to the other and asked him,
"Does this taste funny to you?"
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice cannibal jokes.

I say go for it. Cloning for medical purposes is awesome. It will save a lot of people a lot of pain that need new "parts". Cloning a whole person is a little odd though. Like Aurelyn said, there are too many people already.
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cfos



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't there something in the news recently that talked about getting viable stem cells from skin, or something?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There certainly was - these guys in Harvard have apparently used lab-grown embryonic stem cells to reprogram human skin cells into becoming stem cells themselves. This would dodge both the ethical issue, and the issue of transplant incompatability. Pretty cool, if it's true!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick question: How do you justify to the clone his purpose in life is to be a lab rat for you?

As for Aurelyn's statement, apparently by what you're saying it requires embryonic stem cells in the first place in order to grow the skin-stem cells. Dodges nothing.

And I'm of the persuasion that if it has a discernible brain (>8 weeks), then it shouldn't be touched. i.e. fetus must live, embryo can be harvested.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon_Says wrote:
Quick question: How do you justify to the clone his purpose in life is to be a lab rat for you?

As for Aurelyn's statement, apparently by what you're saying it requires embryonic stem cells in the first place in order to grow the skin-stem cells. Dodges nothing.

And I'm of the persuasion that if it has a discernible brain (>8 weeks), then it shouldn't be touched. i.e. fetus must live, embryo can be harvested.


To answer your question, it was addressed in a McGregor/Johansson film. Not sure what it was about except that Scarlett is damn cute. I think either there was miscommunication on Aurelyn's part or misunderstanding on yours. Here's a bit more on it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/21/AR2005082101180.html

I think the cells being used were already "approved" meaning that I think they came from placentas. I could be wrong, but I doubt Bush would have approved their harvesting as you are suggesting.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon_Says wrote:
Quick question: How do you justify to the clone his purpose in life is to be a lab rat for you?

As for Aurelyn's statement, apparently by what you're saying it requires embryonic stem cells in the first place in order to grow the skin-stem cells. Dodges nothing.

And I'm of the persuasion that if it has a discernible brain (>8 weeks), then it shouldn't be touched. i.e. fetus must live, embryo can be harvested.


Embryonic cells used in this case were placental cells approved for use by federally funded researchers.

Embryonic stem cells are harvested from the blastocyst, rather than any discernable foetus - the organism doesn't even have anything that could remotely resemble a brain, being composed of only a handful of cells at this point. If people wish to attribute a soul to this, then that's their prerogative, but to attribute consciousness to it is stretching it a little far.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 to Aure. For what I recall of my Embryology... circa late 1994... The neural crest cells might not have formed at the stage of the blastocyst, meaning that this isn't even a foundation for a nervous system.
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