The Cloning Debate
The first attempt in cloning was conducted in 1952 on a group of frogs.
The experiment was a partial success. The frog cells were cloned into other
living frogs however, only one in every thousand developed normally , all of
which were sterile. The rest of the frogs that survived grew to abnormally large
sizes. In 1993, scientist and director of the in vitro lab at George
Washington University, Jerry Hall and associate Robert Stillman, reported the
first ever successful cloning of human embryos. It was the discovery of in-
vitro fertilization in the 1940’s that began the pursuit to ease the suffering
of infertile couples. After ...view middle of the document...
They began experimenting on seventeen of the defective
embryos and "when one of those single-celled embryos divided into two cell…the
scientists quickly separated the cells, creating two different embryos with the
same genetic information" (Elmer-Dewitt 38). The cells are coated with a
protective covering "called a zona pellucida, that is essential to development"
(Elmer-Dewitt 38), which was stripped away and replaced with a gel-like
substance made from seaweed that Hall had been experimenting with. The
scientists were able to produce forty-eight clones, all of which died within six
days. Other scientist have been quoted saying that although the experiment is
fairly uncomplicated, it had not been tested before because of the moral and
ethical issues surrounding an experiment such as this one. Some people believe
that aiding infertile couples is the only true benefit to cloning human embryos,
and fear that if the research is continued it could get out of hand. Other
advantages that have been suggested include freezing human embryos for later use,
in the event that a child should get sick or die. If a parent has had their
child’s embryos cloned and frozen and their child dies at an early age of crib
death, the parents could have one of the frozen embryos de-thawed and implanted
into the womb. Nine months later, the mother would give birth to a child that
was identical to the one they had lost. Or if a four year old child develops
leukemia and requires a bone marrow transplant. A couple could implant a...