Science has contributed to easing of humans’ problems since its proper understanding in the early 19th century. Without scientific discoveries and breakthroughs the world we see today, the technological advancements, couldn’t have been possible. One of the outcomes of the science that have increased the chances of survival of mankind on this planet is the cloning. Cloning is the process of creating the multiple copies of any living being or object exactly identical to the original parent.
Cloning finds its roots from Hans Spemann’s experiment in 1938 on embryo transplantation. In that experiment, Hans Spemann replaced the nucleus of an egg cell with another nucleus and the embryo that developed was of the organism whose nucleus was replaced in the egg cell. After that experiment, the process of cloning got its start and a major outcome of the cloning process was the isolation of human insulin gene and its multiplication (cloning) to increase its availability to the Diabetic patients with reduced insulin levels in their body.
In animals, the first ever example of successful cloning appeared in the form of Dolly Sheep, that was a clone produced by Dr Keith Campbell of Scotland in 1997 using nucleus from cultured cells of an older sheep. Due to the use of older sheep’s nucleus, Dolly survived only for 6 years and then died in 2003. The Dolly Sheep was a major breakthrough of that year.
Cloning can prove to be beneficial in lots of aspects of the future to the human beings. Currently, the major advantage that mankind is gaining from cloning is the insulin for diabetic patients, cloning of the plant species near to extinction and somewhat the cloning of endangered animals whose absence may cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
Desired future benefits that a man could gain from cloning are:
- Organ replacement:
This is the technique of harvesting cells from certain vital organs like heart, liver and pancreas etc. For producing exact copies of those organs which could overcome the issues of blood cross-matching may save the person dying from the failure of any of the vital organs.
- Human clone:
Clone of the human being, although an impossible approach currently, but once achieved, could create the exact copy of a person so that any organ or lost body part may be replaced by the original person through its removal from the clone.
- Fertility problem
With this type of cloning somatic cells from male can be isolated, their nucleus would be extracted and then these somatic cells may be inserted in female egg cell. Afterwards, the egg develops into the embryo; the embryo is then implanted in the surrogate mother. The child thus born could have the characters from both the original parents.
- Heart attack prevention:
Scientists may be able to isolate and harvest the healthy heart cells. These healthy cells could then be injected in the place of the damaged heart cells and in this way heart attack may be prevented.
- Stem cells:
Human embryonic stem cells may be isolated and harvested to produce organs and tissues for replacing the damaged ones. Skin cells, brain, muscles, kidneys, liver, heart cells, stomach cells could be produced by using cloned stem cells.
All these above-mentioned benefits have not been achieved yet but if this field flourishes more with the efforts of more experts in this field, then some of the above-mentioned benefits may be achieved. Although human and animal cloning is ethically not-so-good, with increasing advancements in this field, it might be possible that in future we encounter our clones.