There have been over the years many ethical issues as it concerns new technologically or scientifically advancement projects and inventions. Men were afraid of using lifts the first time it was invented. Men were also afraid of the use of airplanes the first time that they were invented and even till date, there exists some group of people in some parts of the world that doesn’t desire to make use of airplanes as a means of transportation due to their view that this is a bad means of transportation. It is therefore however, a point worthy of arguing the different sides taken by different individuals that exists today as it concerns the science of cloning and genetic engineering.
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It is of great importance to make some explanations and definition of terms. What is Cloning? According to Voneky & Wolfrum Cloning is the technological process and science of creation of an identical copy of the original organism or human through the mechanism of unfertilized ovum’s nucleus replacement with the nucleus of a body cell from this original organism or human. (Voneky & Wolfrum, 2004). This establishes the fact that the developing embryo will actually have to die. This is because once its nucleus is changed; it means that this embryo has been changed because the nucleus is its functional unit and hence its identity. This is the basis of many arguments against this science. On the other hand, the definition of genetic engineering is the act of modification and changes to the DNA structure. We will talk more on genetically engineered foods and this however can be defined as food items that their DNA structure have been changed or modified through the science of genetic engineering.
To concentrate now on the cloning technology, it will be of great importance to productively and constructively argue out this situation. Harris stated that the initial emergence of the cloning technology was met with great obstacles by individuals, governing bodies and the socially significant post holders. (Harris, 2002). Technological challenges and constraints the most fundamental limitation is the impossibility of repetition of consciousness, and this means that we cannot talk about the full identity of individuals, as shown in some movies, but only on the conditional identity measure and the boundary of which is yet to be research, but for the support of the basis takes the identity of monozygotic twins. Failure to reach absolute purity of the experience causes some clones is not identical, for this reason that decreases the practical value of cloning.
Fear of causing such things as a large percentage of failures in cloning and related possibility of the appearance of people-freaks, as well as the issues of fatherhood, motherhood, inheritance, marriage, and many others.
From the point of view of the world’s major religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), human cloning is a problematic act or an act that goes beyond dogma and demands theologians clear justification of a position religious hierarchy. The key point, which causes the greatest aversion, here is the fact that to order to obtain a clone of one human being it is necessary to kill the embryo of another human embryo.
Moreover, there are ethical beliefs, social and religious beliefs that continue to emphasize the need never to allow cloning. The major reason posed by these groups of people includes; 1) the creation of man is the sole duty of God and that it is bad for humans to try to take up these duties upon themselves and 2) the killing of one person to give life to the other through the act of replacement of the embryo’s nucleus is considered as murder according to most religious beliefs due to the fact that they believe that the embryo is human. Some investigations show the fact that some people hereby declare their stands that hold the belief on the other side. It is the duty of man to provide all help for his life and this he can do through the increased advancements in technology. There were the periods of Stone Age culture, computer and jet age and all these portray increased advancements in technology and also portray yet the reasons for more advancement. Advancements in technologies are aimed at solving man’s problems and making life easy for a man. It is through the process of cloning that the endangered animal species could be salvaged. This forms also the opportunity of help to infertile humans with the need of reproducing their like. It is a way of maintaining the existence of the gene of any great influential man that had ever lived overcoming the barrier that death poses to hinder the furtherance of the societal economic important activities of this trait. The embryo at this stage has no senses, does not breath, has no awareness of the environment and hence is not yet a human but just an organ. When we consider the therapeutic cloning that could be used instead of organ transplantation, we can appreciate the fact that cloning is a very useful aspect of medicine as it affords an easier opportunity of managing such a patient in order that there will be no such need of prescribing immunosuppressive drugs which has its own numerous deleterious side effects against the human organism.
There are two main approaches to human cloning: the human reproductive cloning and the therapeutic cloning.
The human reproductive cloning suggests that an individual who was born as a result of cloning, gets the name, civil rights, education, upbringing, in a word – has the same life as all “ordinary” people. The reproductive cloning is found with many ethical, religious, legal problems, which today still have no apparent solutions. In some states, work on reproductive cloning is prohibited in law.
The therapeutic cloning suggests that the embryo development is stopped for 14 days, and the embryo is used as a product to obtain stem cells. Legislators in many countries fear that the legalization of the therapeutic cloning will lead to its transition into the reproductive one. However, in the USA and UK the therapeutic cloning is allowed.
In addition, it is important to mention the main types of cloning.
Cloning is the only method of reproduction for bacteria. However, usually when people talk about cloning bacteria, they mean the intentional reproduction of some bacteria, the cultivation of its clones, and culture.
Natural cloning (in nature) of complex organisms:
Cloning is widespread in nature in different organisms. In plants, natural cloning is done with various methods of vegetative propagation.
Owing to fundamental biological discoveries of the 19-th century, namely: the discovery of cellular tissue, the invention of the electron microscope, the discovery of the cell nucleus’s structure, chromosomes, the DNA and genes, scientists can make possible what is now called molecular cloning. This is the technology of cloning the smallest biological objects – molecules of the DNA, their parts and even individual genes. Molecular cloning of the DNA (usually in some way modified) is incorporated into a vector (e.g., bacterial plasmid or phage genome).
Cloning of multicellular organisms:
The greatest public and scientists’ attention involve multicellular organisms cloning, which was made possible due to success of genetic engineering. By creating special conditions and interfering with the structure of the cell nucleus, the experts make it evolve into the desired tissue or even whole organism. There are complete (reproductive) and partial cloning of organisms. With the help of complete cloning it is possible to recreate the entire body as a whole but partial cloning of the organism is not fully recreated (for example, only one or another of its fabric.)
Animal, higher plant cloning and human cloning.
To consider the ethical issues against the use of genetic engineering on food items, it is necessary to mention the opposing side and their points of argument at first and then lay down my expository and productive counteracting points on the proposing side. The opposing sides to the usage of genetically engineered foods have the following points; 1) these foods usually have been exposed to new toxins by method of genetic engineering making them dangerous to health, 2) there is lack of full control to these processes and there could be spontaneous and unexpected outbreak of unfavorable outcomes, 3) the alteration forms could lead to death as has been recorded concerning the altered form of food supplement- L-tryptophan killing an American citizen. This is a well-known fact that genetic engineering leads to the breeding of new strains of crops with disease resistance by the manipulations that organizes the stronger genes together and the removal of the weak ones. There is also the ability of producing crops with added nutrients like vitamins. This is a method that ensures fast and increased rate of food production to feed the world’s growing population. This affords the opportunity of growing crops that resist pest destructions. Finally, the presence of anti-freeze gene extracted from cold water fish which can be used genetically to induce higher cold tolerance in crops and prevent their damage by cold.
In conclusion, it is rational to consider convincingly with these points of scientists that improvement in technologies have to be given full support to continue as it tends more towards solving man’s problems than the possible disadvantages it can bring.