The word cloning has been used by scientists across the world for describing several different processes that are involved with the generation of copies of the biological materials like a cell a gene an animal or plant For instance the cloning of genes has led to the development of new treatments that is created by the biotechnology industry This can help in the treatment of several diseases like diabetes and hemophilia In the context of human cloning a human embryo is produced with the help of cloning that would involve the process referred to as the SCNT Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer In the process of SCNT the nucleus from the mature body cell like the skin cell In the process of cloning the embryo of the human body is created without any involvement of sexual reproduction that implies that there is no joining of the egg and the sperm There have been several concerns over the possibility of the production of the human clone This concern was raised in 1997 when scientists from Scotland first made use of SCNT producing the first cloned mammal which was a sheep named Dolly The scientists successfully removed the nucleus from the egg of the sheep and then replaced it with the nucleus of a mammary gland cell that was taken from an adult sheep
The embryo that was the result was then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate sheep As many as 277 such embryos were transferred Out of these however only one lamb was born Dolly was euthanized after developing a lung infection at six years old as the common life expectancy of a sheep is twelve One possibility for the early death of Dolly was simply because she was cloned and not naturally made For security reasons Dolly was raised indoors instead of outside in a pasture Because of this another possibility is that the early death was a direct result of being raised indoors Scientists have been successful since Dolly in using SCNT technology in cloning other animals such as more sheep goats cats horses mice mules pigs rabbits and most recently monkeys However the overall efficiency of the complete procedure of cloning is quite low and the results have been frequently resulted in the abnormal developments of the organisms There will be a day in the near future when cloning could become quite useful for a number of agricultural applications in addition to the improvement of livestock Also currently cloning of the mice has been used for conducting proper research in the field of human health application Charges of several scientific and ethical misconduct have shrouded the reputation of the medical scientist across the world who have been involved in the deriving of the stem cells from the human embryos that have been cloned In 2004 medical scientists in South Korea had claimed the first ever success in the isolation of the stem cells out of a human embryo that had been cloned
The scientists believe that stem cells that have been transplanted into a patient can help in the effective treatment of several diseases or injuries by the replacement of the damaged cells with fresh stem cells If the cell nucleus that is used in the SCNT process is from a patient then the stem cells would be identical genetically to the patient This would be recognized by the immune system of the patient and would avoid any problems related to tissue rejection that might occur in the other approaches of the stem cell therapeutics Because of this several scientists have joined the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in believing that the SCNT technique is likely the best hope of treating the patients with the help of stem cells for the transplantation of tissue The idea of whether or not any type of cloning or stem cell procedures are unethical came about in the late 1970s when the first IVF baby was born At that time the Ethics Advisory Board had been given the task of determining if there were any ethical scientific legal or social issues regarding human IVF After a year of investigations the Ethics Advisory Board found that the IVF research was quite acceptable from the standpoint of ethical considerations and could be supported by several federal funds As a follow on to the Ethics Advisory Board a team called the Human Embryo Research Panel was developed Their job was to assess the ethical and moral issues that were raised by embryotic and stem cell research The Embryo Research Panel actually opposed the Ethics Advisory Board in their 1994 report stating that embryo research is unacceptable
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