Ethical issues surrounding the scientific cloning of organisms

Transgenics refers to those specific genetic engineering processes that remove genetic material from one species of plant or animal and add it to a different species. Due to the high similarity in genetic sequences for proteins among species, transgenic organisms are able to effectively assimilate and express these trans-genes. The mule is a common example of a transgenic organism created when a horse and a donkey mate and produce offspring. Image courtesy Wade B.

Ethical issues surrounding the scientific cloning of organisms

Select a research area from the adjacent list Cloning Information: Online Articles Any discussion about cloning needs to begin with careful definitions. Cloning can occur at the level of DNA, at the level of the single cell, or at the level of the whole organism.

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Typically, ethical attention is focused upon cloning in the context of the genetic copying of a whole organism. While the cloning of non-mammals has occurred in research contexts for many years, the cloning of the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, surprised many in the scientific community.

What quickly followed was the cloning of other species and intense speculation about the possible cloning of humans.

The key ethical issue with therapeutic cloning is the moral status of the cloned embryo, which is created solely for destruction.

To Clone or not to Clone: The Ethical Question

The ethical issues with reproductive cloning include genetic damage to the clone, health risks to the mother, very low success rate meaning loss of large numbers of embryos and fetuses, psychological harm to the clone, complex altered familial relationships, and commodification of human life.Four panels addressed the specific scientific, religious, ethical, and legal implications of human reproductive cloning and stem cell research.

This document gives a brief summary of the issues as they were raised by the four panels. Bioethicists, policy makers, and the media have been quick to identify the key ethical issues involved in human reproductive cloning and to argue, almost unanimously, for an international ban on such attempts.

Meanwhile, scientists have proceeded with extensive research agendas in the cloning of animals. Although genetic engineering may provide substantial benefits in areas such as biomedical science and food production, the creation and use of genetically engineered animals not only challenge the Three Rs principles, but may also raise ethical issues that go beyond considerations of animal health, animal welfare, and the Three Rs, opening up issues relating to animal integrity and/or dignity.

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The need to obtain a supply of human eggs leads to one of the most sensitive ethical issues cloning research. In each of her monthly cycles, a woman usually produces only one or two mature eggs.

Ethical issues surrounding the scientific cloning of organisms

This is an attempt to explore the pros and cons of human cloning and to provide enough information of both sides of the arguments in order for the reader to make their own informed decision on whether human cloning is ethical or not.

Typically, ethical attention is focused upon cloning in the context of the genetic copying of a whole organism. While the cloning of non-mammals has occurred in research contexts for many years, the cloning of the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, surprised many in the scientific community.

Ethics of cloning - Wikipedia