Scientist Speak Up
A number of scientists in Genetics agree that cloning of humans is unacceptable at the moment. Rudolf Jaenisch and Ian Wilmut from the Roslin Institute that cloned the first clone Dolly,
“suggests that the lessons learnt through cloning of animals should be taken into account before human cloning is ever considered…scientists want researchers to pay attention to the problems encountered in animal cloning…and that there is no reason to believe that the outcomes of attempted human cloning will be any different,” (Topics index).
There has been a history of
problems in cloning among animal experiments and the results
should be considered when thinking of human cloning. If cloning in simpler
organisms is not possible without consequence, then the cloning of more complex
creatures such as humans is not a good idea. Further expressed by Ian Wilmut
and Rudolf Jaenisch: “ there is no reason why human
cloning experiments will not have the same high failure rates as laboratories
have experienced when attempting animal cloning,” (Topics index). Cloning is like a dog walking across traffic without looking
both ways and is hit by a car. Normally they would learn to inspect the road
and then dodge on coming cars the next time around. Eventually the dog will
have seen all and learned all they need to know about the heavy traffic and
crosses unharmed. The initial hit and run on the dog is like the small consequences
we are seeing in the cloning experiments. The cars represent deformities,
genetic mutations, disease, and unknown causes for death and the dog a would be
child. The science of
cloning must learn to cross the street without losing thousands of dogs.
Other implications include experiments done with mammals which have not been completely successful. Those done with primates have also shown minimal positive results. Therefore showing that the margin of error in human testing is just as large, and will be just as dangerous to attempt. Some cloning scientist's attitudes are: " play around and see what you get." This is not an attitude needed to perfect a science. The techniques must be viewed in close relation to the side effects, and alterations to those techniques must be made constantly. Cloning defects in humans can be avoided if the extra effort is put into observing the reasons for these defects in animals; the only concern is whether or not the scientists who are performing these experiments, are willing to do that.
With each experiment done the negative results of cloning are slowly emerging. From premature aging to unwanted gene expression, the results of cloning experiments are leaning toward an answer of “don’t do it” to the question of “ should humans be cloned?”
According to “Alan Colman, one of the team who created Dolly… said that Dolly’s premature death, at age 6, was proof of the possible dangers of cloning, "I think it highlights more than ever the foolishness of those who want to legalize (human) reproductive cloning. In the case of humans, it would be scandalous to go ahead given our knowledge about the long-term affects of cloning,” (Topics Index).
has happened in these experiments, it would be illogical to clone a baby
that could probably live only a few years and even have major health problems.
While Ian Wilmut said that: “it was unlikely her
illness was attributable to being a clone."
(Topics Index). The concern is that there
are evident signs that cloning is not a perfected science and more research
is needed before the science community embarks on an episode of cloning disaster.
The premature death of Dolly is a result of shortened telomere length. The bodies of living organisms have a select number of telomeres of a given length. Telomeres are ends in a cell that control cell life span and growth. From birth the length an animal can live is based on how many times the telomeres can divide. After so many divisions the organism begins to break down and die, an occurrence that happens in the latter, older stages of life. Dolly also exhibited signs of arthritis and a type of lung cancer, possible side effect of premature telomere division. In another case of 12 cloned mice, 10 of the 12 mice died: “before reaching 800 days of age,” (Topics index).
The first mouse died 311 days since the initial cloning. All cases of mice were related to pneumonia. While other cases of premature death included: a female calf, cloned by the Animal Embryo Project Center in East China’s Shan Dong Province, which died about an hour into life of unknown causes. Another case involved the death of a cloned Gaur that died days after it was created. Advanced Cell Technology claims that the calf
:“ named Noah, was healthy at birth but died of a common dysentery…”(Topics Index). However, efforts to clone additional animals have shown that shortly after birth, a majority of the specimens develop some health problems. There is more to these deaths than just common side effects. The implications of severe defects are in each experiment, but scientist s may be covering up what they are doing or what results their experiments are yielding.