The Perils Of Cloning: Winning The Lottery

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Max Johnson Professor Alex Dannemiller English 1510-146 24 September 2012 Call it “Winning the Lottery” Technology has become more advanced than many people thought was ever possible. From surfing the web at the palm of your hand to flying half way across the world in under a day’s time, scientists are coming to a conclusion that possibilities are endless. A very advanced, and dangerous topic that have scientists puzzled, is cloning. According to Webster’s Online Dictionary, cloning is a general term for the research activity that creates a copy of some biological entity (a gene or organism or cell). Cloning has its pros and cons and these pros and cons lead to a very controversial discussion. In the article “The Perils of Cloning”…show more content…
It starts off by introducing a successful cloning of an Ewe named Dolly. The cloning of Dolly was a shock to our world. Laboratories around the world started working on ways to duplicate this breakthrough. As the years go by, scientists begin to realize how different and lucky Dolly really was. Scientists have tried to clone other animals such as mice, cows, cats, pigs and most recently a dog. In almost every experiment, the clone was born with defects, some of them major and some of them minor. In Dolly’s case, she was 1 of 277 clones that actually survived. Cloning is a highly scientific and difficult process. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t always go as planned. Ian Wilmut, a genetic scientist who led the team that created Dolly, quotes "I call it a lottery. Even if you use the same method as consistently as you can, you will never get a clone without abnormalities, even if they are only minor” (2). Although this may sound dangerous, there is good news. Clones defects will not be passed from generation to generation. A natural merging of egg and sperm will produce an offspring. For example, Dolly gave birth to 5 healthy lambs. This also worked with mice, cows and pigs. However, it is rare for a clone to live up to that stage in…show more content…
She states “for each clone born, hundreds of others never make it past the first days and weeks” (2). According to a recent study at the University of Utah, .1%-3% of all clone attempts work. Even though it works, and the clone is born successfully, to this date, there has not been a single clone that has been born perfectly normal. All clones have been born with either major or minor mutations. The reason for the mutations is that the DNA inside a natural embryo is programmed to set off signals to activate certain sets of genes. Later, when the embryonic cells differentiate, the programs change. In cloning, the natural embryo has a completely different program then the transferred nucleus. This causes certain genes to be activated in a completely different order then the original. Lucky for Dolly and very few other clones, their genetic programs were very similar to that of the original. This problem is feared to happen in human cloning as

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