On July 5th, 1996, the science world held its breath as the very first mammal to ever be cloned was born. Her name was Dolly. Dolly was a sheep that was cloned from a mammary cell taken from another sheep at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian (Science Reference). The technique, somniatic nuclear cell transfer, was made famous by her birth and is by far the most common cloning technique today. Although many marveled at this obvious scientific headway in the cloning field, Dolly was the center of controversy from her birth all the way leading up to her death early in 2003. Due to the fact that many sheep live twice her age, her death fueled the debate over the life expectancy and health issues of cloned animal (New Scientist).

     Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), made famous by Dolly‚Äôs case, involves combining the nucleus of a body cell into an egg that which has no nucleus. Doing this has proven to produce a clonal embryo which begins developing with the chemicals or electricity. Placing the cloned embryo into the uterus of a female reproductive system creates a clone, with genes identical to the person which the original body cells were taken from. Reproductive cloning has the potential to generate donor organs for humans in the future, for now it focuses on producing animals that have the same DNA molecules. For now, reproductive cloning of a human in the United States is illegal but the cloning of other mammals like Dolly has opened the door on further understanding the mysterious human genome (Genetics).

An Ethical Equation:

   FOR:

   -If results of research cannot be obtained through any other method

   -Allows for a better understanding of the human genome

   AGAINST:

   -Morally wrong

   -The embryos are treated as property and not as potentially living beings (SCU)

 

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