Animal Reproductive Cloning
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Animal Reproductive Cloning

sheepclone image

The concept of cloning animals dates back a long time. Says the Human Genome Program, "In 1952, the first animal, a tadpole, was cloned. Before the creation of Dolly, the first mammal cloned from the cell of an adult animal, clones were created from embryonic cells. Since Dolly, researchers have cloned a number of large and small animals including sheep, goats, cows, mice, pigs, cats, rabbits, and a gaur. All these clones were created using nuclear transfer technology." Dolly image

According to ReligiousTolerance.org, "With the exception of the sperm and egg, every cell in the body contains all of the genetic material in its DNA to theoretically create an exact clone of the original body."

The sheep, Dolly, created in 1997, was the first ever clone created from the DNA of the parent. The fundamentals behind the cloning of this animal, says Religious Tolerance, is 'a cell was taken from the mammary tissue of a mature 6 year old sheep while its DNA was in a dormant state. It was fused with a sheep ovum which had had its nucleus removed. The "fertilized" cell was then stimulated with an electric pulse.'

By the year 2000, over 3,000 to 5,000 cloned animals have been created using the process.

PROS AND CONS of Animal Reproductive Cloning (as presented by Bioethics Today[Pros] and Conceiving a Clone[Cons])
    PROS

  • "Animal cloning could be used to preserve biodiversity through the cloning of endangered species."
  • "Cloning could be used to improve animal experimentation in that animals would be exactly the same physiologically thus leading to more controlled research experiments, with better results and fewer animals required."
  • "Cloning could be used to improve animal experimentation in that animals would be exactly the same physiologically thus leading to more controlled research experiments, with better results and fewer animals required."
  • "Cloning could be used by people to produce genetic copies of their pets after they have passed away."
  • "Research on animal cloning is implicated in that of stem cell research and as such may in the future have profound health benefits for humans, such as the cloning of new organs."
  • "Cloning technology when combined with transgenics may be used to create higher yields from animals, and so potentially transforming agricultural productivity."
    CONS

  • "Cloning may reduce genetic variability, Producing many clones runs the risk of creating a population that is entirely the same. This population would be susceptible to the same diseases, and one disease could devastate the entire population."
  • "Cloning may cause people to settle for the best existing animals, not allowing for improvement of the species. In this way, cloning could potentially interfere with natural evolution."
  • "There is a risk of disease transfer between transgenic animals and the animal from which the transgenes were derived."
  • Therapeutic Cloning Human Reproductive Cloning Home Annotated Links


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