The process of creation of genetically identical person from either a living or dead person is known as human cloning. It includes the production of clone tissues, also donated from the individual to be cloned. This term refers to artificial human cloning only. The birth of twins is called natural human cloning. Even though the birth of twins is the result of natural human cloning they are separate people with separate experience. The presence of identical DNA makes no difference in their being different personalities. The scientific community all over the world is still investigating the question how similar the original and its clone would be and this may depend up on how much of personality traits are determined by genes.
Scientists have managed to clone animals like Dolly, the sheep. They have obviously tried the same method on humans, and have reached considerable success. However, many countries and governments have banned human cloning fearing the ill-effects of human clones. The human race is not yet prepared to come face-to-face with clones moving about with normal people. There is a huge debate on the pros and cons of human cloning. This BiologyWise article on human cloning will cover the advantages of cloning humans.
Techniques of Human Cloning and Claim of Success
The most common technique used in human cloning is 'somatic cell nuclear transfer'. Under this technique, the nucleus of an egg cell taken from a donor is removed. Then, the original cell gets fused with another cell of same genetic material to be cloned. Another technique used, is parthenogenesis. This technique involves inducement of unfertilized egg to divide and grow as if it were fertilized. As recently as on May 2005, a team of scientists led by Mr Hwang Woo-Suk attached to Seoul National University, claimed to have created 11 lines of human stem cells using a different technique.
Benefits of Human Cloning
There are some ways by which human cloning can benefit the humankind. Here is a list of advantages.
One of the main reasons why human cloning turns out to be a scary affair, is that it would allow people to clone themselves. Just imagine, you could get a twin by cloning yourself. Parents who lose their children to death may get tempted to clone their dead child. Some may think of cloning Einstein or Usain Bolt and give rise to a league of superhumans or super-sportsmen. Those against humanity may give rise to clones of the famous villains in of our history. Although the idea of a clone sounds pretty attractive, no one knows how the clone will behave and will he/she develop similar personalities like its master clone.
It has been found that the production of clone tissue should be helpful in making aging people look young. According to Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, one day it should be possible to reverse the aging process.
Heart attack Treatment
Today, heart attack is the number one killer in the developed as well as developing countries. Scientists believe that by cloning healthy heart cells and injecting them in to the damaged heart area, they can treat heart attacks.
Human stem cells
It has been experimented that nascent cells can be grown to produce human organs or tissues. This can be used for repairing or replacing the damaged organs. A combination of human stem cells production and human cloning technology can be used to produce tissues for suffering people, which are otherwise rejected by, their immune system.
The success rate of current infertility treatments is very low. Further, the couple has to go through tormenting procedures with a small chance of getting a child. The advent of cloning technology will make it possible for infertile couples to have child than ever before.
Use in Surgeries
Presently silicon gels and other cosmetics are being used in surgery. These materials not only suit the patients but also cause immune disease. In human cloning, doctors, instead of using materials foreign to the body are able to grow cells, bones, tissues that match that of person taking treatment. Victims of terrible accidents with deformed faces can hope to have their features repaired with safe technology. The case of breast implants for cosmetic reasons is also similar. With the silicone implants, people developed illness of their immune system.
It is estimated that an average person has 8 defective genes inside him. People with defective genes will develop illness in spite of their keeping good health otherwise. With cloning, it is possible to have genes without any defects.
By switching cells on and off through cloning, it has been found that cancer can be cured. The phenomenon of cells differentiating in to specific kinds of tissue was baffling the scientists. Cloning may hold the key in making them understand differentiation and cancer. Down's syndrome, liver failure, kidney failure, leukemia, spinal cord injury, genetic diseases are some of the ailments which can also be cured by cloning.
The success stories of human cloning and creating tissue cells have come from different parts of the world. People have also been treated with the technology and have started, realizing some benefits of cloning. The response and feedback the Human Cloning Foundation has been getting is a testament of the popularity this form of science is getting all over the world. But, many countries have not accepted this. The human cloning has not been given legal status in many countries. However, the stem cell research has been accepted by some governments. Till the scientific community comes up with a legally acceptable human clone, God, the creator of all human beings, born and to be born, can continue to enjoy, the status of a "creative maverick"!