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Speech on Cloning Free essay! Download now

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Speech on Cloning

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1500 | Submitted: 22-Oct-2005
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Pros and cons of cloning


Have you ever wished you could have a clone of yourself to do homework while you hit the shopping mall or go out with your friends? Imagine if you could really do that. Where would you start? Cloning is a type of genetic engineering; this is the creation of an organism that is an exact genetic copy of another. This in simpler terms mean that every single bit of DNA is the same between the two. There are three species that can be cloned, which are: human, animal and plant. When the media report on cloning they are usually talking about the two types of human cloning: reproductive and therapeutic cloning.
The first type, reproductive cloning is the creation of many copies of an individual sharing the same set of genes. This process involves removing one or more cells from an embryo and encouraging the cells to develop into a separate embryo. This procedure has not yet been successfully carried out on human embryos but has been carried out on animals.
Dolly the sheep became a scientific sensation when her birth was announced in 1997 however her relatively early death in February 2003 fuels the debate about the ethics of cloning research and the long-term health of clones. When you cut yourself, new skin grows over the wound because skin cells are 'programmed' to produce new skin. This is extremely crucial while you are healing or growing and even means we can grow some cells - such as human skin - in the laboratory. In contrast to this, a newly fertilised egg contains 'stem' cells, which are capable of becoming any of the hundreds of different types of cell in the body - skin, muscle, brain cells etc.
The challenge faced by Dolly's creators was to take a fully programmed adult cell and return it to this state. Dr Ian Wilmut, who cloned her, said it took two hundred and seventy seven attempts to get a perfect animal. The first two hundred and seventy six attempts resulted in many malformed animals. However Dolly died and was put to sleep in 2003 after doctors detected progressive lung disease, though she had only reached half the life span of a typical sheep. At her birth age she died at six and a half years, whereas according to her genetic age she died at twelve and a half years. A post mortem examination confirmed the cause of Dolly's lung problems as sheep pulmonary adenomatosis (SPA), a lung tumour brought on by a virus. The examination also confirmed what vets had suspected since early 2002 - that she had arthritis in her hind legs. Until the first signs of arthritis were detected, Dolly had shown no signs of ill health and had given birth to four healthy lambs. No other abnormalities were uncovered by the post mortem.

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