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Human Cloning: Sci-Fi or Reality?


Submitted By Madilynnn
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Human cloning occurs naturally with phenomena like twins and triplets, but the same outcome of a genetically identical individual created in a lab is not as well received. Over the years, cloning has transformed from a thing of fantasy to one of reality. Current research is bringing us closer than ever to cloning humans, but what will happen if we succeed?
The word clone is defined as being an exact genetic replica of a molecule, cell, plant, animal or human being. The term cloning refers to the technological process of creating a clone. The use of cloning technologies has been in place for the past 50 years, though it wasn’t until 1996 that the first mammal was cloned from a somatic cell. Dolly, the world’s first cloned lamb, brought cloning and its ethical implications into the spotlight after she was successfully cloned from an udder cell of a six-year-old sheep. Dolly was put to sleep in 2003 after suffering from lung disease, as well as premature arthritis. Having lived only six and a half years instead of the expected 11 – 12, Dolly’s passing also brought to light questions regarding the health and life expectancy of cloned animals. Though her life was short, she left a long lasting imprint in the field of modern biological research. The successful cloning of Dolly led to many other advances in the biological community, however, as of 2014 no human has ever been successfully cloned. Human cloning is a hotly debated topic in the science and religious communities because of the ethical questions and concerns surrounding the process. In 2013, developmental biologist Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov successfully cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells. Gautam Naik of the Wall Street Journal reports that “they [Dr. Mitalipov’s research team] were able to transform the stem cells into various cell lines and tissues, including

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