The future of (human) cloning: dangerous or a blessing?

Hello everyone,

Another week has passed, so it’s time for a new blog!
Today I want to cover something different than fluorescence. Early this morning I had to do some labwork regarding cloning experiments (actually I have to do this kind of labwork more or less everyday) and it got me thinking. I had to clone (technical definition: a cell, cell product, or organism that is genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived or a population of identical units, cells, or individuals that derive from the same ancestral line) some DNA of my fluorescent proteins in bacteria (E. Coli) and I started wondering off in a more phylosophical way. What would happen if people would actually be allowed to be cloned? or maybe just parts of the human body? For example wouldn’t it be great to replace damaged organs or tissues by genetically exactly the same  organs and tissues in your body or even a little bit modified so this certain medical issue won’t be a problem anymore or should we stay away from playing god in the first place? The big question, if allowed: where does it end? Who draws the line and why there? Will we create “super” humans after a while? what about the need of diversity? A quick search on google ended up most of the times in an article or debate about the ethics regarding this topic (f.e.: http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/could-humans-be-cloned-130520.htm)  

I’d like to ask your opinion about this matter in a more open blog this week. Maybe we can have a ‘respectful’ discussion regarding this topic gaining a few insights from one another, so please don’t hesitate to write your thoughts about this!

Advertenties

19 gedachten over “The future of (human) cloning: dangerous or a blessing?

  1. Hi Dries,

    I recently saw a film on the television called: “My sisters keeper”. It tells the story of Anna who is conceived by means of in vitro fertilization. She was brought into the world as a savior sister at the informal suggestion of Kate’s doctor, Dr. Chance (a formal suggestion from the doctor would have been a violation of legal and medical ethics). Anna is conceived to be a genetic match for her older sister, Kate, who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia, to donate compatible organs, blood and tissue in order to keep her sister alive. When Kate turns 15, she goes into renal failure. Eleven-year-old Anna knows that she will be forced by her parents to donate one of her kidneys. She also realizes that she may not be able to live the life she will want to lead – she may be unable to cheerlead, play soccer, or be a mother. Anna tells her parents that she does not want any of this and proceeds to sue them for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. I will not spoil the end. This movie made me think about cloning and related subjects. In case of the situation of Anna and Kate, I first thought a little naively that Kate was lucky. But soon I thought about Anna and how she must have felt being the living pantry for here sick sister. I think this case goes to far for me. I think that every person brought into this world should have the right to be an individual. Not as a person who has a life long contract to serve someone else, if you know what I mean.

    Like

    • Hello Annekatrijn,

      Interesting movie, I should definitely watch it!
      As for the story itself and the message the movie brings, it’s definitely a bridge too far for me, maybe even a couple of bridges!
      Cloning an entire person for me personally is too far, but to use them as a donor and organ “plant” just when the “original” human being needs a replacement is completely immoral in my opinion. You can’t just “create” somebody with feelings and emotions and use them for whatever personal flaw or defect you have. All humans have equal rights. As for cloning an entire person, after a while it would only evolve into creating super humans in my opinion, putting together all best characteristics of different human beings into “flawless, smarter, more beautiful, …” human being. We shouldn’t play god in this case, however cloning can also do some good ofcourse for example it can help in prolonging people’s lives by replacing damaged tissues or organs with genetically identical tissues and organs which is a great thing! Time will tell where this will go legally and scientifically I guess.

      Like

      • Hi
        The idea of ‘designer organs’ is one bridge to far for me. If this would be a fact competitive sports like soccer and cycling will completely be a joke. Because the sporters with enough money would be able to get a better hart or set of lungs. Then sports will be just a laughing matter, talent would not be necessary anymore.

        Like

  2. Now I’m thinking of it I have a little question, when I think about cloning I think about Dolly, the cloned sheep. But since I read your definition I’m wondering can you clone a single organ to? Or is that still future music ringing to my ears?

    Like

  3. While I’m certainly not an expert and haven’t read enough literature on the subject. I think its feasible right now, and I thought I’ve read somewhere they already made/cloned a functional working heart from scratch however it’s still in the developing stage and alot of clinical and preclinical trials/experiments have to be performed to test the safety (chance on developing teratomas(tumors)) and characteristics regarding the cloned organ (Can’t remember where I got it from or perhaps I made it up, but if my memory serves me right, it has been done!). I’ll try to browse through some literature and find you and example. What I do know for sure is that alot of research is/has been done on developing different tissues from stem cells which can be harvested from your own body, basically creating the (damaged/defect) tissues (starting from these stem cells) you need.

    So yes, you can’t order your genetically identical heart right now but you can expect to hear from cloning organs and tissues in the very near future.

    Like

  4. @ your reaction for sports etc…, Annekatrijn. That’s true but you can also save people’s lifes with it. Maybe they (government) can come up with some legislation that covers the use of genetic organs only when necessairy (f.e.: failing hearts, or (uncurable) diseases) instead of only cosmetic and performance improving (sports) purposes.

    Like

    • And age, don’t you think age is an important factor to. I’m from the opinion that we are quite often longing life while it does not necessarily better the quality of life. Sometimes it seems that a beating heart is more important than the life quality these days.

      Like

  5. I agree about your quality of life comment,however that’s just the purpose of cloning in my opinion. To replace the failing heart that we are trying to keep beating nonetheless no matter what nowaydays. By replacing it with a “new” identical, younger version you can indeed prolong your life with high or a decent quality.

    Like

    • Yes, if you only look to the quality of the heart, but the bones, the skin and the mind for example will not follow that quality. To give an extreme example, a person with Alzheimer can have a perfectly functioning body that way, but the mind or soul will not get better. That way you will create a perfect vegetable. I would rather have a grandmother who dies because of a heart problem than a grandmother that lives twenty years longer but is mentally no longer with us.

      Like

  6. I feel, despite the comments you and Annekatrijn made, that also cloning organs might not be the right solution to fix some defects.
    In the first the place, the surgury that is needed to place the clonic organ in our body is really a big one. I think that such surguries for transplantations (e.g. heart transplantations) will only be done when no other solution can be used. Consequently, the time to recover of these surgeries can take a while and this is not ideal for a sportsman.
    There is also a chance that the body would reject the clonic organ by immune rejection.

    Also in my opinion, cloning whole people is not an option. All humans are unique and I think that this is just the thing that makes us humans. Making unique dupos of ourselves will be just against the rules of nature.

    Like

    • Depends where the clonic organ is from, if its based on yourself it reduces the chances on immune rejection. Also while I agree on your opinion about cloning whole humans, let me play the devil’s advocate and ask you why it’s ok to clone animals then?

      Like

      • That is of course true what you are saying, but I have read somewhere that immune rejection and/or development of teratomas (anyways, it is something that you do not want to occur in the human body) can occur when you are even using autologous (donor-back-to-donor) stem cells. However, I do not know if this is also true for clonic organs.
        Neither cloning animals is okay in my opinion. Image that you see a rather rare animal, you are really surprised to see something like that. If people have the permission to clone such animals, it will take away the beauty of nature in the first place and this beauty has to be kept in balance by not messing around unless it is really necessary.

        Like

  7. I do not know why someone do not like cloning, I do not think it is a bad things. But if we make one or more of the same whole body, I am a little afraid of that. If only part of the body will be cloned, I can accept it. Or if it is safety, I can accept it. Perhaps the technology of fluorescent protein can give some contribution to cloning.

    Like

    • I agree, cloning body parts can be super useful and I consider it a major medical break through. But coning entire people is not only very creapy, it’s also completely useless as there are enough people walking on the earth already.

      Like

      • True however for example wouldn’t it be great to be able to reproduce let’s say Einstein or other great personalities/thinkers so they can help shape and influence the world more or come up with more innovating technologies? (Playing devil’s advocate again)

        Like

      • Cloning body parts is ok, but cloning entire people isn’t? Where is the boundary then? Suppose, my hole body is burned for 60%. Can they replace all the burned thisues then? or is that to much to clone?

        Like

      • I would say that the line is when you change the “soul”. Even if your entire body is burned, that is just your body. I am pretty sure that if ask somebody to define himself/herself, he/she does not start talking about his/her body but about the feelings, ideas and opinions he/she has. So in a more scientific sense for me the line would be at cloning brain-parts (can they even be cloned?).

        Like

      • I don’t think you can clone people brains because its something that needs to grow, you need to learn how to read, how to type and so one. I don’t think cloning brains is possible. Because then you need to clone something that can learn. There are enough movies made about this subject like ‘eagle eye’. We’re not so far the computers can learn from them self, then its definitely not possible that we can clone a brain and have the same characteristics as a normal brain.

        Matthijs, it doesn’t mather for you if we clone a hole body and we put a baby’s brain in the cloned body?

        Like

  8. My opiniom about cloning is just don’t manipulate evolution. The same for human beings. Every generation we got stronger to survive an other generation. But on a moment in time there will be a stronger race (maybe a race that we created) then us that will survive above us… I think its dangerous to manipulate with evolution, just let evolution do his thing.

    Like

Laat een reactie achter op driesverh Reactie annuleren

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen.

WordPress.com logo

Je reageert onder je WordPress.com account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Google photo

Je reageert onder je Google account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Twitter-afbeelding

Je reageert onder je Twitter account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Verbinden met %s