March 29, 2007
To Clone or Not to Clone?
Imagine a world in which livestock producers have the ability to hand-pick their highest quality animals and create an entire herd that is genetically identical. Does that sound like a science fiction movie? Actually, the ability to create copies of elite animals is quickly becoming a reality instead of fiction. The issue of cloning is an ever-changing debate as new advances are made. The issue brings out a variety of opinions as the debate enters the issues of safety, politics, and ethics. However, cloning is a process that is vital to the food production industry of today and should not be banned because it is proven to work, is safe, and is ethically acceptable.
A driving force behind the controversial argument is the confusion that surrounds the cloning process. Many people do not know how the process works, and draw incorrect conclusions because of their confusion. There are three basic types of cloning processes. The most complicated involves recombinant DNA technology, or DNA cloning, which is the copying and modifying of a single gene. The newest is therapeutic cloning, which has many promising possibilities, and the type most people are aware of is reproductive cloning. It is the process through which a genetic twin is created from the cells of an original animal (“Cloning Fact Sheet” 1-2). When most people hear the word cloning, they think of reproductive cloning; therefore,it will be discussed more thoroughly and referred to simply as cloning for the purposes of this paper.
In brief, reproductive cloning is the process of creating two genetically identical animals (Freudenrich 1). The process is actually quite simple to understand, though it is one of the most misunderstood aspects of cloning. A scientist begins in a lab with the DNA of an original animal. He or she inserts it into an egg cell that has been specially prepared by having its nucleus removed. After the two are combined...