Love Something so Much You Can’t Live Without it? Clone it!

Umu Salamata Bah, J1 Staff Writer

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Imagine having a clone…yes, a clone; someone who is an exact copy of you.

Believe it or not, we are not  talking about what you see from the movies where these cloned beings come from from a lab machine, we are talking about real human clones.  Some see it as a possible “trend.”

There has never been  a successful birth of a human clone, but this doesn’t mean that people don’t wonder if one may soon be on the horizon.  The first step to understanding the issue of human cloning is how it is done. According to a diagram called “How to clone a Human” by Time magazine,  to clone something, doctors basically harvest eggs from female donors who have been under fertility treatment. They remove the nuclei from the donated eggs, the cells from the humans and a nucleus free egg are given a jolt of electricity, which gives the egg a new nuclei. The eggs are then implanted to a surrogate mother where they form an embryo. That might not sound  complex, but there’s a high risk that most embryos won’t survive because many will have genetic defects.

According to history.com’s article “The first successful cloning of a mammal”,  Dolly the sheep, in 1996 after scientists took cells from a six year old ewe and implanted in a surrogate ewe. One hundred and forty-eight days later, the ewe  gave birth to Dolly. Dolly lived a very short life but was able to produce 4 other lambs. She suffered from arthritis on her hind leg, which scientists attributed to  the cloning process. She also suffered progressive lung disease and had to be put down at only six years old.

People who agree with the act of human cloning do so for multiple reasons. The most common reason being that couples who have had lost a child may be able to bring him or her back – in a way. Also, couples who suffer from infertility could  create a clones of themselves.

According to the article “16 Important Pros and Cons of Cloning Humans,” the process has many positive. The article, which appears on the blog Green Garage, states,  “The technology can potentially help cure certain disorders, by replacing damaged tissues and organs within the human body. The process of transplanting human organs can become simpler, with an immensely improved success rate.” In the future there would be a chance to cure an ‘incurable’ disease.

Those who are against human cloning argue many points with one being that  there could be a new sense of discrimination against people who are cloned and that society won’t accept them and they won’t be treated as true humans. The same article also talks about the popular opions on why human cloning is a bad idea.  A major issue is people’s religious beliefs. The process of cloning interferes with nature and they feel like creating a clone is like a man becoming a “creator” or trying to act like a supreme being. Another major reason is that people will exploit clones and use them for getting away with crime and the things that you see in movies.

While no human cloning has been successful yet and there remains some serious societal issues around it,  there have been successful clonings of animals. Last month singer-songwriter and actress Barbra Streisand cloned her deceased dog for the third time, yes, third time. Streisand, according to The New York Times broke this news in an interview with Variety magazine. Streisand then wrote a piece for the Times that talked about her reasoning for such actions. In the piece, Streisand states why she chose to clone her beloved pet. “I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way. It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA. A friend had cloned his beloved dog, and I was very impressed with that dog. So Sammie’s doctor took some cells from inside her cheek and the skin on her tummy just before she died. And we sent those cells to ViaGen Pets in Texas. We weren’t even sure if the cells would take.

Streisand goes on to say that, “Not only did the cloning process take, but it produced four puppies! Unfortunately the runt of the litter died before the puppies were old enough to be delivered to me.” According to Times writer Matt Stevens, the price tag for the cloning costs $50,000.

When one looks at the idea of cloning, it certainly exists in a way many never could have imagined. For famous and wealthy people like Barbara Streisand, it may be a reality, but the cost is not something most can handle. However, over time this cost will, most likely drop. Whether we like it or not and whether we find it scary or just plain strange,  cloning is here and, in the near future, human cloning may exist. Imagine, one day, before you know it, there may be new generations of families who look exactly alike.

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Love Something so Much You Can’t Live Without it? Clone it!