Scientists may soon have the ability to bring a species back from the dead. You don’t have to worry we won’t have a T-rex roaming the earth, not for lack of trying but because there isn’t enough viable DNA to make it happen. The question is not on whether we can resurrect a species, but whether if we should if possible. Reproductive cloning is the idea of creating an animal that is genetically identical to a donor animal through somatic cell nuclear transfer. In reproductive cloning, the newly created embryo is placed back into the uterine environment where it can implant and develop. Using Reproductive cloning to bring animals back would do more harm than good. I say this because it could lead to several huge problems. Some of these problems could consist of bringing a deadly pathogen or retrovirus back to life which caused the animals death in the first place, causing other species to lead to extinction, taking attention elsewhere, and where would we put them. But this also has some great advantages if successful which I will get into later in the paper. So let’s get started. The reason why Reproductive cloning is now possible is that of a system called CRISPR CAS-9. According to Beth Shapiro, “”CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a gene editing tool that uses proteins (CAS-9) to cut a little bit of DNA and stick a new bit of DNA in there and the DNA heals itself back up and you just replaced a gene1. With this, you can basically edit a current species like the elephant in order to bring back the wooly mammoth. There are still some complications about the procedure itself that scientists are working on. Like they need to make sure that the hybrid cells that they created could be used to make specialized tissues and would be able to grow in an artificial womb or try to implant it into an elephant. And then they would make sure that it would survive when they added more DNA and more DNA until they get a full implantable embryo.
Bringing a species back to life would be a big mistake, especially if a deadly pathogen or retrovirus comes along with it. We really don’t know what would happen if one day the science community were to successfully bring a deadly top of the food chain species back to life. It could possibly start an outbreak of a virus or pathogen that we would have never seen before. So many would most likely get affected without a cure in sight. This itself would take a lot of time and money just to find a cure that works and then have to mass produce the cure to stop the outbreak. All of this would have to be done when we haven’t even done this with other existing viruses and diseases. It took almost two centuries for the world to eradicate smallpox. How much time do you think it would take to eradicate a virus or pathogen that we know nothing about? A further argument for against reproductive cloning would be that it could cause other species to go extinct. After a mass extinction event, new species evolve and fill ecological niches. This is called Adaptive radiation under Natural Selection. If you were to reintroduce another species with the same niche as another it could cause that species to go instinct. This is due to the competitive exclusion principle. This tells us that two species can’t have the same niche in a habitat and stably coexist. That’s because species with identical niches also have identical needs, which means they would compete for precisely the same resources and lead to one to go extinct. So, would it be right to bring a deadly species back if it will make an already existing species go extinct or even make itself go extinct in the long run? Spending the already limited resources on reproductive cloning could lead to net biodiversity loss by taking attention elsewhere.
The relative cost as opposed to benefit for biodiversity is essential to the debate surrounding reproductive cloning. Assuming species are resurrected to be released into former habitats, the cost of reproductive cloning includes the process of producing initial founder populations, translocating individuals, then monitoring and managing new wild populations2. If maintenance funds are re-directed from living to resurrected species, there is a risk of perverse outcomes whereby net biodiversity might decrease because of reproductive cloning. Why would we take money away from endangered species on the verge of going extinct to species that were already dead and brought back? If we were going to bring back a dead species where would we put them? Would we keep them in a zoo? That doesn’t sound like a very exciting existence for that animal since we are doing it for the animal and not for us. There is a great risk for reproductive cloning, we would bring back a species from the dead but if we fail to resurrect their ecology there going to be extinct once more. But there is a way around this. According to Douglas McCauley, there are three ways that to restore the functioning of once-extinct species. These ways are “”(i)select target species from guilds with low functional redundancy; (ii) concentrate on species that went extinct recently rather than older extinctions; and (iii) only work with species that can be restored to levels of abundance that meaningfully restore ecological function.
On the other side reproductive cloning is not only about animals it can be used on humans as well. Religious and other opponents of this technology are saying that this process disrupts nature because procreation is something that shouldn’t be tampered with. They feel that interfering with how nature work would have a domino effect on the human race. Reproductive cloning can be considered unethical and against “”god’s”” wishes. Many people believe that because clones were created by man, they will be unable to feel and empathize. The creation of life by God is described in the Book of Genesis. The natural law ensures the continuity of life. Cloning is the transfer of genetic material by unnatural and artificial means. In other words, man would be playing god, but we don’t have the power to predict all the consequences of assuming that role. Aside from being morally wrong, this interference can lead to a host of problems that society isn’t prepared to handle. There are many more arguments against reproductive cloning, but this is a brief report of the main arguments. When thinking about cloning children designed and replicated to the parents’ wishes, consider the book My Sister’s Keeper in which one of the children is the product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and is born for the sole purpose of being a bone marrow plant for her older sister.
Know try to imagine being the child only being born to save the existing child and not for the reason of wanting a child in general but bluntly speaking basically she was born for spare parts for the first child. I couldn’t imagine how that would feel. Even though there are many negatives to reproductive cloning there are also many positives such as, reproductive cloning could offer insights into evolution and other natural resources that may be currently unavailable to us. Reproductive cloning could be a big step forward for genetic engineering. It could help restore threatened or damaged ecosystems with help of now-extinct species. Extinct species could be brought back from the dead and carry no deadly pathogens or retroviruses at all. Or maybe even one they could even use reproductive cloning to bring back species such as a dog that may have passed away. But there are always negatives to that as well. Many people love their pets too much that they get devastated when theirs passes away. Reproductive cloning gives them the chance to have another pet that’s genetically identical to their deceased pet. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the cloned animal will look like the donor or even will survive birth with the death rate of cloning mammals 95%. And also, it is very expensive up to 100,000$. Most likely most adults don’t have this kind of extra cash laying around except for the wealthy so all this could be is just an idea. The two biggest positives that can come from reproductive cloning is that continuing this research could lead to reproducing more viable organs and this could help infertile parents that now have a chance of being able to have kids of their own. Those who want to have twins will also be able to make that wish come true. It can also be useful to lesbian and gay couples, who won’t need donor sperm and donor eggs, respectively, to have their own kids as well. The people that can benefit most from these organs are people who are on the organ donor list waiting for their chance to receive their desired organ. This could be a huge breakthrough, but this could be very expensive.
In conclusion, Cloning is a type of asexual reproduction. A child created by cloning would be an exact replica of an existing or deceased person. If you cloned yourself the clone would not be like your sister, or brother, it would be an exact copy of you. A majority of people do not believe that reproductive cloning is ethical. Most advocates of human cloning also advocate for genetic modification of the human species. The technologies needed for reproductive cloning are not up to safety standards. Many countries have banned research on reproductive cloning. This means that the technologies for reproductive cloning are not going to be improved quickly. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done on reproductive cloning not only for humans but species as well and we need to discuss all of the pros and cons before we do something that we might not be able to turn back from.
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