Genetics Sci Fi

An Insight on Cloning: Past, Present and Future

Written by Taimoor Goraya

Nobody could imagine that next year, clones will be available specifically for organ harvesting, and replacement of vital organs in any emerging, or sudden emergencies, or life threatening situations. Beside the fact, in year 2001 first cat was cloned perfectly by the name of “CC means Carbon copy”, the cat was perfect copy of her predecessor. In 2005, the Island movie was thematically based on cloning was released; it depicted the idea that human clones will be used for harvesting organs and replacements, if the original owners found itself, in a situation, which requires the urge of replacement of vital organs in near future.

I know everyone is familiar with the term, but I think it necessary to define the term for feasibility purpose to create an environment of common understanding. Before proceeding further, I want to be clear about this; I am not defending cloning perspective, and reputation in everyone’s very eyes. Well, J.B.S Haldane coined the term “clone” from a Latin word “klōn”, it means new plants can be produced from another plant’s twig. According to biological definition “Cloning is a process of developing genetically identical individuals, within same genetic information having populations”. On the other hand, in Biotechnology cloning technique is being used at massive scale to create the exact copies of DNA of interest.  Besides the whole hustle and bustle, our interest has specified to the extent of human-cloning, and it has side-effects as well as core benefits from it.

Did it ever occur to you, or raised any question in your mind, why we need cloning? After getting basic understanding of cloning, most of

Biology Decoded claims no right on the picture

us including me believe human cloning is prohibited by religious prospects, and it is ethically wrong to do so, because we will be creating a whole new individual, and it will have proper capacity for emotions, sense of security and full of life. Seriously, my religious area and ethical integrity are so weaken, but, why back in 19th century Russian scientist (Serge Voronoff) was allegedly performing experiments on the monkeys? After removing vital organs from monkeys, they had transplanted them into humans. It filled me with agony and pain. Do we want to be an immortal race? Is there any need of re-growing vital organs?  In my perspective, yes, there is an ultimate need to harvesting vital organs, for not only living healthy longer, but there are suffering people around every corner of world, dying, and their beloved ones are willing to save them at every cost. I think, it is just because of human-emotions that are influencing on the decisions of banning cloning, and saving those which are closer to us.

I went a little off topic, but I will link at the end. I was saying that there are two broad categories of human cloning: therapeutic cloning, it involves the cloning of specific cell type for use in medicine as well as transplants, and reproductive cloning sole purpose is to develop another individual with same genetic makeup from an originating source. Reproductive cloning procedure sounds simple, but success rate is limited. For this process DNA is extracted from any somatic cell type, and fuses it with enucleated egg (without-DNA) with the help of electric current or needle. The former approach is use to fuse whole somatic cell into the enucleated cell. I found it interesting, let talk about therapeutic cloning. Eventually, it is divided into two more broad categories; somatic-cell nuclear transfer and pluripotent stem-cell induction. Dolly, the sheep was produced by somatic-cell nuclear transfer technique. Moreover, Korean scientists claimed that “they have successfully cloned human embryo, but due to religious prospects of strong religious groups, destroyed it at blastula stage before the appearance of primitive streak”. This technique is also being used to get embryonic stem cells, for strictly therapeutic purposes. It is believed that 100000 embryonic stem-cells can be used to regrow every specific organ in the body for every individual in America. Pluripotent stem-cell induction is a new technique, and also know as IPS (induce pluripotency). It is a very effective step towards converting adult stem-cells into embryonic stem-cells after re-programming the adult stem-cells. It is a very broad topic, but I wanted to shed some-light why scientists are trying to find multiple ways to save human-race on this very plant earth, and these are only fantasy terms for film-makers; there is another reason “media is a best way to educate people and attain their attention”.

Now, something about off the topic things, all I was saying was that there are many other ways to treat suffering individuals instead of, regrown organs: piggyback surgeries can be used for defective kidneys, AbioCore heart surgery was introduced many years ago, neonatal testing techniques has been introduced to look for any abnormalities in offspring, so they would be treated, or build a mechanism to treat their abnormal conditions according to specific requirements, as well as it was seen people donate their vital organs for medical purpose, and to the needy one. But, can you wait for 10 years to finally meet your donor match to replace defective organs? I heard somewhere that “there are two kind of pain: one that makes you strong, and the other one is you just suffer for unspecified time period”.  We will have to make our own choices, either to suffer, or rely on scientific research approaches and techniques.

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About the author

Taimoor Goraya

Taimoor is doing BS Biosciences degree from COMSATS Institute of Information and Technology with major subjects such as cell biology, biotechnology and virology. He wrote a review article before on his teacher’s demand on antifreeze proteins in bacteria. He has interest in stem cells, drug development and regenerative medicine.