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LIFE SCIENCE

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CONTENTS PAGE
Introduction

History

of Cloning Laws for Engineering Human Cloning Ethical Issues The Benefits Conclusion Bibliography

HISTORY OF CLONING
Cloning has been going on in the natural world for thousands of years. A clone is simply one living thing made from another, leading to two organisms with the same set of genes. In that sense, identical twins are clones, because they have identical DNA. Sometimes, plants are self-pollinated, producing seeds and eventually more plants with the same genetic code. Some forests are made entirely of trees originating from one single plant; the original tree spread its roots, which later sprouted new trees. When earthworms are cut in half, they regenerate the missing parts of their bodies, leading to two worms with the same set of genes. However, the ability to intentionally create a clone in the animal kingdom by working on the cellular level is a very recent development. The first cloned animals were created by Hans Dreisch in the late 1800's. Dreisch's original goal was not to create identical animals, but to prove that genetic material is not lost during cell division. Dreisch's experiments involved sea urchins, which he picked because they have large embryo cells, and grow

independently of their mothers. Dreich took a 2 celled embryo of a sea urchin and shook it in a beaker full of sea water until the two cells separated. Each grew independently, and formed a separate, whole sea urchin. In 1902, another scientist, embryologist Hans Spemman, used a hair from his infant son as a knife to separate a 2-celled embryo of a salamander, which also grow externally. He later separated a single cell from a 16celled embryo. In these experiments, both the large and the small embryos developed into identical adult salamanders. Spemman went on to propose what he called a "fantastical experiment" -- to remove the genetic material from an adult cell, and use it to grow another adult. In this way, he theorized, he would be able to prove that no genetic material was lost as cells grew and divided.

There were no major advances in cloning until November of 1951, when a team of scientists in Philadelphia working at the lab of Robert Briggs cloned a frog embryo. This team did not simply break off a cell from an embryo, however. They took the nucleus out of a frog embryo cell and used it to replace the nucleus of an unfertilized frog egg cell, completing the "fantastical experiment" of nearly 50 years before. Once the egg cell detected that it had a full set of chromosomes,

it began to divide and grow. This was the first time that this process, called nuclear transplant, was ever used, and it continues to be used today, although the method has changed slightly. A breakthrough came in 1986. Two teams, working independently but using nearly the same method, each on opposites side of the Atlantic, announced that they had cloned a mammal. One team was led by Steen Willesden in England, which cloned a sheep's embryo. The other team was led by Neal First in America, which cloned a cow's embryo. Many advances were made during the course of these experiments, including progress in keeping tissue alive in lab conditions. However, neither team believed that it was possible to clone from an adult's differentiated cells. With no progress in sight, the prospect of cloning fell by the wayside, and little research was done on the matter. Reliable cloning can be used to make farming more productive by replicating the best animals. It can make medical testing more accurate by providing test subjects that all react the same way to the same drug. It can allow mass production of genetically altered animals, plants, and bacteria. It may settle once and for all what part of personality is dependent on genetics and what part on environment. In short, it can be beneficial to almost every area of biological science.

LAWS: ENGINEERING HUMAN CLONING


United Nations On December 13, 2001, the United Nations General Assembly began elaborating an international convention against the reproductive cloning of humans. A broad coalition of States, including Spain, Italy, the Philippines, the United States, Costa Rica and the Holy See sought to extend the debate to ban all forms of human cloning, noting that, in their view, therapeutic human cloning violates human dignity. Costa Rica proposed the adoption of an international convention to ban all forms of human cloning. Unable to reach a consensus on a binding convention, in March 2005 a non-binding United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning calling for the ban of all forms of Human Cloning contrary to human dignity, was adopted. European Union The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine prohibits human cloning in one of its additional protocols, but this protocol has been ratified only by Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union explicitly prohibits reproductive human cloning. The charter is legally binding for the institutions of the European Union under the Treaty of Lisbon.

United States In 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007, the United States House of Representatives voted whether to ban all human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic. Each time, divisions in the Senate over therapeutic cloning prevented either competing proposal (a ban on both forms or reproductive cloning only) from passing. On March 10, 2010 a bill (HR 4808) was introduced with a section banning federal funding for human cloning. Such a law, if passed, would not prevent research from occurring in private institutions (such as universities) that have both private and federal funding. There are currently no federal laws in the United States which ban cloning completely, and any such laws would raise difficult Constitutional questions similar to the issues raised by abortion. Thirteen American states (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia) ban reproductive cloning and three states (Arizona, Maryland, Missouri) prohibit use of public funds for such activities. Australia Australia had prohibited human cloning,[15] though as of December 2006, a bill legalising therapeutic cloning and the creation of human embryos for stem cell research passed the House of Representatives. Within certain regulatory limits, and subject to the effect of state legislation, therapeutic cloning is now legal in some parts of Australia.

In China, there are no laws against cloning either. However, with the huge population problem and the policy of only one child per family, there is no interest in reproductive cloning. On the other hand, there is huge interest in therapeutic cloning and, as a result, there is a lot of it on the go in China. Some Chinese cultures believe that humans only become people when they participate in society so, according to these cultures, embryos and foetuses are not considered to be human beings, thereby eliminating any ethical problems surrounding the creation and destruction of embryos to get the required stem cells. In South Africa currently, the Human Tissue Act prohibits both therapeutic and reproductive cloning of humans. This situation will change when chapters 6 and 8 of the National Health Act are promulgated - and therapeutic cloning will then be allowed under strict conditions, requiring Ministerial permission, but reproductive cloning on humans will remain strictly prohibited. Around the world, different countries have different rules relating to cloning some dont allow reproductive cloning, but do allow therapeutic cloning, while other countries allow both types.

ETHICAL ISSUES
Because of recent technological advancements, the cloning of animals (and potentially humans) has been an issue. Many religious organizations oppose all forms of cloning, on the grounds that life begins at conception. Judaism does not equate life with conception and, though some question the wisdom of cloning, Orthodox Judaism rabbis generally find no firm reason in Jewish law and ethics to object to cloning. From the standpoint of classical liberalism, concerns also exist regarding the protection of the identity of the individual and the right to protect one's genetic Gregory Stock is a scientist and outspoken critic against restrictions on cloning research. Bioethicist Gregory Pence also attacks the idea of criminalizing attempts to clone humans.

The social implications of an artificial human production scheme were famously explored in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World. On December 28, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the consumption of meat and other products from cloned animals. Cloned-animal products were said to be virtually indistinguishable from the non-cloned animals. Furthermore, companies would not be required to provide labels informing the consumer that the meat comes from a cloned animal.
identity.

Critics have raised objections to the FDA's approval of cloned-animal products for human consumption, arguing that the FDA's research was inadequate, inappropriately limited, and of questionable scientific validity. Several consumeradvocate groups are working to encourage a tracking program that would allow consumers to become more aware of cloned-animal products within their food. Joseph Mendelsohn, legal director of the Centre for Food Safety, said that cloned food still should be labelled since safety and ethical issues about it remain questionable. Carol Tucker Foreman, director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America, stated that FDA does not consider the fact that the results of some studies revealed that cloned animals have increased rates of mortality and deformity at birth. Another concern is that the biotechnologies used on animals may someday be used on humans. Some people may be more open to the idea of cloning of animals because most western countries have passed legislation against cloning humans, yet only a few countries passed legislation against cloning animals.

THE BENEFITS
Unlike the prospects of human cloning, the prospects of animal cloning are endless. The ultimate goal of animal cloning can lead to a reduced number of animals needed for research. Most people are not aware that plants have been genetically engineered for years to produce some of our best crops. Now a completely different ball game, with much more complicated rules and different species of players, has opened up. The benefits are endless, and it is important that the public understand this. One of the largest areas that will be affected by the possibility of animal cloning is animal research. If the animals used in experiments are exactly the same physiologically, the experiments are much easier to control. Fewer animals will be needed for experimentation, with better results. Though some scientists believe that animals are more susceptible to disease if they are part of herds with genetically identical genes, cells are also capable of being genetically engineered to root out diseases that the donor animal may have carried. The medical community will be affected in astounding ways if the majority of companies use cloning of animals to their advantage. Cheap and plentiful bioengineered drugs that are made from human proteins will most likely be the first practical application. The ability to clone will allow scientists to genetically engineer animals for a particular protein, and then mass-produce.

CONCLUSION
Cloning is definitely a sensitive issue that must be handled carefully. Although cloning of animals has already been done, the human race may not yet be ready for the cloning of humans, regardless of the matter that it has already been done or not. There is no doubt in my mind that cloning has great advantages to it but with it comes the fear that many "lines" may be crossed which should not be crossed. Scientists may believe that ethics may cease scientific development but with care and regard for ethics that are also within reason, I believe that this development will not be ceased.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Google:
www.clone safety.com/documents/cloning_fact_sheet.pdf www.foodstandards.gov.au/scienceandeducation/cloneda nimals.cfd www.viagen.com/animalcloning.com