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Would Human Cloning Research be Initiated Again?

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It wasn’t too long ago when Dolly the Sheep’s birth ushered in a new era of research regarding reproduction of genes by cloning. After this success, people began to wonder whether human cloning was the next thing on the list to try and accomplish. Think of all the possibilities. People can resurrect deceased people, create humans with selected traits and maybe even create armies, as what the Star Wars movies tried to market. There are many possible ideas that would be done if ever human cloning would be allowed.
Principles Behind Cloning
So in order to clone, you need a viable number of egg cells stripped of their DNA and an adult donor’s skin cell to provide the new DNA. Certain types of genes must be un-blocked as these are turned off in their original state in the egg cell. Cell multiplication is then induced. If the embryo survives the division process and is still viable after some hours, it will then be inserted into an acceptable surrogate mother. And now you have created a clone!
Seems easy right? But let’s mention the fact that not every DNA insertion trial and division inducement is successful. A lot of the time, it needs to be redone many times until a successful embryo with the right blocked genes is created, and it has to survive until it could be put into it’s surrogate’s uterus. Nowadays, a new principle has already been discovered which led to far fewer trials and more understanding about the process of cloning. To simplify the idea of gene blocking, let’s look at your skin cells. A skin cell has your DNA, and the whole collection of instructions for making skin, hair, and even organs and other unrelated body parts. These genes are in the cell but they are blocked so that a cell could be differentiated into a skin cell. Cloning works so well because the egg cells have an inherent ability to access and turn these genes back on, and this process is called reprogramming. Sadly, there is only a short amount of time for the egg to do this and some genes are not easily accessed, leading to a lot of failed trials and clone embryo deaths, but now it is lesser in number than before.

But another problem comes into play. What if the embryo doesn’t survive in the womb? That is highly possible due to the fact that the data and all evidence of success are only seen in other mammals, such as livestock and pets. This would mean that there would be a lot of failed pregnancies which would be a cause of concern from the ethics community. An evidence of this is seen in the research work of stem cell biologist Yi Zhang, who figured out the block gene principle. They successfully cloned two long-tailed macaques, but this whole process required 417 macaque ovums and 63 surrogate mothers, which resulted to a meager six pregnancies and eventually just two living specimens. It’s an exhausting process needing a lot of funding, time, and donors of both egg cells and womb space.

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