When the first cloned sheep, Dolly, hit the news, most eyes popped-out in sheer disbelief. Decades back, cloning was only discussed in scientific circles and no one ever imagined that it would soon become a reality. In simple terms, cloning can be understood as production of genetic copies which can develop genetically identical human organisms. A cloned organism, or group of organisms, is composed or cloned using the exact genetic material as the original organism(s). Ever since cloning became a possibility, its pros and cons have been fervently debated over on moral, ethical and technical grounds. In case you want to know the possible advantages and disadvantages of cloning, follow the article.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Cloning
- Cloning body parts can become a life-saver. The vital organs of human body can be cloned and used as back-up in case of an organ failure. When a crucial body organ such as kidney or heart fails to perform its normal functions, it can be replaced with a cloned organ substitute.
- Cloning can also provide a viable solution to infertility in human beings. It can help the infertile individuals in producing children. Cloned embryos can be planted into women’s bodies to produce babies. Also, cloning can make it possible to reproduce a certain desirable trait in human beings through the cloned embryo.
- Technologies used in cloning can also serve a useful purpose for the researchers in genetics. Cloning technologies may help to understand the composition of genes and their effect on human traits and behavior in a more comprehensive and elaborate manner. Cloning can also make it possible to alter genetic constituents in cloned humans, so as to simplify their analysis of genes. A wide range of genetic diseases can be averted through cloning.
- Genetic alteration of plants and animals can also be enabled by cloning. It can also help to replicate animals that can be used for research purposes by scientists.
- Since cloning creates identical genes and it is a process of replicating a complete genetic constitution, it can significantly hamper the much needed DNA diversity in human beings. The lessening of genes diversity will weaken our adaptation ability. Similarly, cloning will also severely affect diversity in plants and animals. A cloned species may not know how to react to viruses and other destructive agents as scientists cannot predict such potential developments.
- By allowing man to interfere with genetics in human beings, cloning raises a concerning probability of deliberate reproduction of undesirable traits in human beings, if so desired. Cloning of body organs opens the possibility of malpractices in medical fraternity.
- Technical and economic barriers need a consideration in cloning human organs for transplant. Cloned organs may not be cost-effective for a good part of human society. The benefits of cloning techniques reaching the common man remain a big question mark.
- On the moral and ethical front as well, cloning raises several serious questions. It devalues man-kind, as a new birth is a natural process, and seriously undermines the value of human life.