Cloning is fundamentally different from ordinary reproduction. It involves taking an adult cell from a living person, slipping it into an egg cell whose genetic material has been removed and allowing the genetic material of the adult cell to direct the development of a new embryo, then foetus, then person who is the identical twin of the person who provided the initial cell. It enables a living person to be reborn as a duplicate of themselves. Scientists and infertility specialists envision certain specialized circumstances in which it might be acceptable to clone humans, for example, to provide donor organs and bone marrow.
Since Scottish researchers created Dolly in 1997 by placing an adult ewe's genes in an empty egg and triggering it to develop into an embryo, other scientists have managed to clone worms, mice and cattle using the same methods. But the failure rate has been alarmingly high at 98 percent. Often the attempts have resulted in failed births or clones with genetic defects such as extra large organs or weak hearts or immune systems.
Despite a scientist's announcement that he and his colleagues would be ready to place a cloned embryo in a woman's womb within 18 months, the technique has hardly been perfected.
There is a real need for human cloning technology, particularly among parents who are unable to conceive by any other means.
There are complications that arise when dealing with people rather than animals, including how to prevent the birth of a badly deformed baby. Flaws may not always be apparent. Many of the problems that have arisen in animal tests have been mostly unobservable at the foetus level. When you produce a sick child you can't simply dispose of it.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
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