The process and Idea of cloning has provoked controversy all over the world for a multitude of reasons. Genetically engineered animals have been studied and created over the last few hundred years. With such a low success rate and high cost associated with It, cloning has failed thus far to be perfected and the large majority of people lack interest in supporting the advancements of genetic engineering.
The positive benefits linked with the use of clones tend to be overlooked based upon the negative aspects generally correlated with the subject. The use of genetically edified animals has significant effects on various parts of our society, both positive and negative (Centre of the Cell Team, 2012). Advancements in the use of genetically engineered animals all over the world has failed based on religious beliefs, personal hesitations and errors in genetics.
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Religions such as Roman Catholic, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and the World Council of Churches all strongly oppose the idea of recreating animals artificially, Islam and Judaism have completely restricted the Idea of using cloned animals but only Realms has been reported to have deemed It “okay to clone animals and use these creatures for testing (Pros and Cons of Animal Cloning, 2014). Many religions fear that artificially recreating animals is “playing God” in the sense that man should not possess the ability to create life. Figure 1.
Display of various stances on genetically engineered animals according to the states in America via Half-heartedness’s. Org (Pros and Cons of Animal Cloning, 2014) Aside from the controversy that has arisen in numerous religions, the general public finds many downfalls to be associated with using genetically engineered animals for consumption as seen in Figure 1 above. A large majority (about 66%) of Americans alone find that eating cloned animals may pose serious health risks to the human body (Scene, 2007). The FDA does not necessarily have to state on food labels If the contents are genetically modified.
The choice to disclose this Information is ultimately up to the food manufacturer (Fad’s Role in Regulating Safety of GE Foods, 2013). The process of cloning in itself is severely flawed, making it seem highly undesirable to copious amounts of people in the population. Cloning is achieved by collecting DNA from the desired animal and inserting it into a surrogate mother. This DNA develops in the egg of the mother that then becomes an embryo and hopefully grows and carries to term. If born, these animals will be genetically identical to the animal the DNA tissues were derived from but may be entirely deferent in behavior.
In a study performed by researchers at the University of Georgia, a deceased Angus cow was cloned and several calves were born from Its DNA. Each of the calves looked Identical to the other but some were aggressive and a few grew more rapidly than the others, traits that were not present In the Orlando Angus cow (To Clone or Not to Clone, 2002). Figure 2. Three clones Angus cows via Colonnade’s. Org (Bator, 2008) clone populations fail to possess variation. Lack of variation in appearance and body structure causes a series of issues to arise.
People find variation to be important in a culture, whether it be regarding humans or animals as being unique is what sets each organism apart and makes them who and what they are. When it comes to survival, diversity is necessary to fight and cure illnesses. With a dense clone population, creating vaccines and new drugs becomes increasingly difficult as it is taxing and laborious to test on a group of identical beings. Problems arise when testing new drugs on identical creatures since each being will react the same way due to the fact that each organism possesses the same genetic structure.
Advancements with these medicines are slow and often unsuccessful (Scene, 2007). On the other hand, the process of cloning still holds desirable to bounteous people in society. Through the use of cloning, a larger number of desirable animals can be produced much more promptly than if the animals were born naturally. The process of breeding a species over and over until the perfect organism was created could be UT down significantly. Through genetically engineering an animal, the ideal creature could be created in a matter of months rather than years (To Clone or Not to Clone, 2002).
Several prize winning and world renowned animals have been cloned in order to keep the legacy of their DNA counterpart alive. To put into perspective how highly sought after clones of idealistic animals are, an Angus cow by the name of Forever Lady 718 had been sold for $170,000 (Bator, 2008). Over the years, scientists and researchers have taken note of the low success rate associated with cloning as well as the high cost. On the other hand, they have also taken into consideration how desirable the idea of mass genetically engineering animals has become.
Research has determined that healthy clones possess the identical safety or risk for consumption as their DNA counterparts. Because of this, it would be in society best interest to continue and even increase recreation of these animals for the sake of keeping food supplies up (Scene, 2007). For reasons such as these, the idea of perfecting the cloning process has helped make compelling advancements. A large population of Americans fears that producing clones will result in detrimental effects n people. These notions hold untrue.
Genetically engineered animals are currently relatively scarce and the little number of clones that are being created are typically being used for various forms of research, not consumption (Pros and Cons of Animal Cloning, 2014). The most common organisms being cloned are farm animals such as cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. The perception that many people have regarding genetically engineered animals being harmful to society is false. Mass producing these animals has shown great benefits towards improving nutritional, medicinal and research needs.
Clones are essentially animals that have been born through asexual reproduction. There are no harmful chemicals or steroids used in the process. The means for creating such animals is in the loosest sense of the word, natural. Each creature is born and resembles its donor. Typically idealistic animals are used to reproduce another perfect being. These animals are Just as, if not more, nutritious and equally as safe to consume as the animal it was modeled after. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration determined that when placed side by side and eaten, the indistinguishable (Fad’s Role in Regulating Safety of GE Foods, 2013).
Creating a higher number of these animals profits society in the advancement of medicine. By having a larger supply of animals, research can be more easily conducted on these creatures prior to being tested on humans or other animals. Scientist can expose clones to diseases and track the improvements or regressions in health. With these ideas, medicines and vaccines can be tried on various cloned organisms before being introduced to humans and animals (Pros and Cons of Animal Cloning, 2014).
By creating higher numbers of animals such as livestock and other assorted farm returns, a larger food supply may be produced which may aid in the fight to end world hunger. Though this idea is somewhat far-fetched, any surplus of food could potentially help someone in need (Bator, 2008). The effects that genetically engineered organisms have on humans are miniscule in comparison to those on the animals themselves. Several pernicious health effects occur to animals that have been cloned. Artificially reproducing animals has severe health risks on both the surrogate mother as well as the infant.
Only around 5% of clones are born alive, almost no fetus are carried to term. If the pregnancy is successful, often times the other falls extremely ill or even dies upon giving birth (Lab Animal Welfare, 2012). The offspring typically develops one or more of several diseases and disorders that often affect clones. The most common of these ailments are Large Offspring Syndrome, in which the being is significantly larger than it would be if born naturally, and Hydro’s which may occur to the infant or the mother in which the body swells with excess fluid (American Anti-Vivisection Society, 2010).
Each of these disorders may be fatal and due to these illnesses as well as various birth defects, these engineered animals rarely, if ever, live as long as in nature. Figure 3. Display of common ailments that occur during and after pregnancy for both the surrogate mothers and the offspring of a species of cow via Nondenominational. Org (American Ann-vivisection Society, 2010) During pregnancy as well as after birth, mothers and offspring have a high likelihood of developing severe infections aside from the previously mentioned diseases that often develop.
These infections contribute largely to shorter life spans and poor overall health. When cloning these animals, researchers have taken into account how significantly the test subjects suffer both prior to and after birth. The astronomical number of illnesses and defects that occur during the process of genetically engineering new creatures significantly effects the advancements in the sciences needed to evolve cloning and perfect it. Despite the adverse effects cloning leaves on animals in most cases, there remain to be several instances in which genetic engineering is beneficial to the population of wild, farm and domestic creatures.
When cloning, typically DNA is harvested from prized animals that are genetically impeccable. Due to the reproduction of these immaculate animals, their genetic offspring maintain a high resistance to illness, even that the infant is born healthy (Genes and Physiology: Molecular Physiology in Genetically Engineered Animals, 1993). When the DNA of a healthy animal is recreated, those genes typically uphold their strength, yielding a strong and lively their organs are used to supplement the organ supply for other animals in need of donors for transplants (Pros and Cons of Animal Cloning, 2014).
With the climates changing and endangered species list growing longer each year, the process of cloning animals has created a way to help preserve these creatures from further depletion (Bator, 2008). Cultures of DNA derived from animals that are lowly disappearing from the wild are being collected and frozen in labs to then be recreated in the future. With this technology available, animal populations can begin to be restored and possibly be removed from the endangered species list which would greatly benefit animal habitats around the world (History of Cloning).
To take into consideration the effects genetic engineering has on animals and humans, both beneficial and detrimental, the effects it has on the economy must also be examined. Though much of the controversy lies in the false recreation of the animals and the harmful effects it has on them, the means of engineering these nines is strenuous and financially demanding. But some cases result in considerable success. As previously stated, most cloned organisms suffer severe defects and diseases as a result of unnatural recreation.
These animals are still considered to fall into the category of “successful” clones. The realistic success rate associated with the cloning of animals is generally between 1% and 10%. Almost all clone attempts in animals fail which greatly affects future advancements from being pursued. The process of cloning plants or fungi has significantly high success rates as plants reproduce sexually in nature making the means of recreating more legitimate and logical, whereas in nature, animals do not reproduce asexually, making the process of cloning severely more complex and difficult (Lab Animal Welfare, 2012).
With such a low success rate, funding for research and experimentation is rather hard to come by. Research for genetically engineering animals does not receive government funding due to such a high population of people opposing the subject. Money typically comes from private organizations and donors. The average cost of cloning can be anywhere from $11,000 to $20,000. The tremendous cost associated tit genetic engineering has created a substantial obstacle between further advancements in research. Attempts at making improvements has been increasingly challenging with the costs of creating new animals being so high.
Along with the abysmally low success rates, high costs have put a significant strain on the attempts to improve the process of cloning in animals (Lab Animal Welfare, 2012) Not all aspects of genetic engineering present hindrances on the economy. In a number of ways, cloning has significantly helped make improvements to healthcare and food supplies to help save money and create new opportunities. Cloning animals has ultimately supplied society with a higher number of creatures to test on, use for food and research. In the past few decades, a great number of clones have been created to be used for biomedical research.
These clone test subjects often have new diseases injected into them then are treated with various medicines to observe certain reactions as well as if health of the being increases or decreases. Using these beings for testing has helped both animals and humans alike. Several new and improved drugs have been created through the process of using engineered animals When creating new animals from DNA derived from others, the result is typically much more predictable than in the wild. Researchers and scientists can expect a certain quality to the genetic structure of these animals.
The blood types and tissues of these creatures are known prior to their conception and birth, meaning if other animals are in need of a transplant, there is already a done being created for that animal. This will greatly benefit animals and the economy alike. As the number of organs available for transplants goes up, the cost can go down with time (Centre of he cell -ream, 2012). Genetic engineering has introduced a wide range of tremendous benefits as well as unsatisfactory regressions in the field of science. By engineering new animals, significant advancements have been made in medicine and nutritional needs across the world.
Equally on the other hand, cloned offspring and surrogate mothers suffer from severe ailments through the genetic transfer and birth and very few of these pregnancies result in healthy infants. With such a high cost, expansion of research has slowed significantly but curiosity and promising results keep scientists, searchers, and individuals in society alike longing to perfect the cloning process and find more methods to benefit humans, animals and our economy.