Some politics in the United States now suggest saving us from all misfortunes connected with cloning of people by legislation. In my opinion, it is an interesting idea but if you examine the problem more soberly, you will see that serious problems actually do not exist. In several cases when abusing is possible, it can be prevented with the help of legislation. Unique objection which remains as a result of the analysis is that the technology of cloning is not perfect yet. It is the justification for future researches and experiments, but not for any interdiction.
Cloning of a human person is close to reality due to historical scientific breakthrough of the doctor Yang Wilmot and his colleagues from Great Britain. This opportunity potentially gives all of us fabulous advantages. Unfortunately, reports in mass-media and negative emotional reaction (which was generated by erroneous science fiction) influenced the discussion of this problem. The negative attitude towards cloning of people is only consequence of fascinating and new idea. If the public entered into error will impose a full interdiction on cloning of a person, a sad episode in the human history would appear.
Actually, the clone is not simply identical twin of some other person and they differ in periods. However, science-fiction novels and films have created an impression as if human clones are thoughtless zombies, monsters like Frankenstein, etc. However, it is complete nonsense. Human clones will be usual human beings, perfect as you and me. They will be born by usual women after 9 months of pregnancy; they will be born and will be grown up in a family, as well as any other child. They will need 18 years to become adults, as other people do. Hence, the clone-twin will be some decades younger than the original; therefore, there is no danger, that people will confuse the clone-twin to the original. Just as identical twins, a clone and his donor of DNA will have various fingerprints. The clone will not inherit anything from memoirs of the original individual. Due to all these distinctions, the clone is not an x-copy or the double of his donor, but a younger identical twin. Human clones will have the same legal rights and duties, as any other person does. Clones will be human beings in the fullest sense. You will not have the right to use a clone as a slave. The slavery was forbidden in the USA in 1865 and then by the United Nations Convention of the Human Rights.
It is necessary to emphasize, that the cloning of human beings should be carried out on an individual voluntary basis only. The alive person should give his or her legal permission. As well as the woman who will bear a clone-twin and then grow this child, should take her own decisions. A woman is required for cloning to bear a child. Therefore, there is no danger that scientists-villains will create thousands of clones in confidential laboratories. Cloning will be carried out only after requests and with necessary participation of usual people.
What can we expect from human clones? The answer can be found from exploration of identical twins. The clone repeats completely the appearance of the original individual and has the same growth and a constitution. For well-known supermodels and movie stars it can be the most important feature.
One more opportunity, cloning gives a human being a possibility to correct some mistakes of the past. Probably, many millions of Nazi concentration camps victims could be cloned for restoration of the lost genetic branches. The same technology, which makes it possible to clone Adolph Hitler, can be used to clone Anna Frank. Cloning of a human being would be the first offer of the World Jewish Community as the constructive answer to the Holocaust. The serious concern in genofund pauperization still exists in Russia. It is caused by Stalin's mass executions of the best and brightest members of the Soviet society. Cloning could give a chance of a new life to people from the past, whose lives were unfairly and finished early.
It is obvious, that cloning of a human being has enormous potential advantages and some possible negative consequences. The unique threat is our own narrow intellectual self-satisfaction. As well as it has happened with many scientific achievements of the past, such as planes and computers. Clones of a human can make a contribution in the field of scientific progress and cultural development. In the certain cases possible abuses of cloning can be prevented with the help of the special legislation. With a drop of common sense and reasonable regulation, cloning of people is not something, which is necessary to be afraid of. We should expect it with impatience. In addition, we should support scientific researches, which will speed up realization of cloning. Exclusive people are the greatest treasures of the world. Cloning will allow us to keep and restore these treasures.
As you have already understood, there are two opinions concerning cloning: "to be afraid of the further cloning" and "to thumb the tub2 of the project". I support the second opinion. Let's remember those far years when people's religious beliefs forbade visiting doctors. But now the humankind cannot live without medicines and medicine. However, there are people who reject medical aid. Dozens of years will pass and cloning will be as natural satellite for humankind as now medicine is for us.
Let's remember genetic modification. It is well known that there is the big progress in this area at the present time.
It is known that tomatoes, carrots and peppers are rich in carotenoids, which help prevent cancer ant coronary heart disease. To make things easier for us, scientists are working to produce vegetables that are genetically modified to contain increased carotenoid levels. They have already succeeded in creating tomatoes with more than three times the normal "anti-cancer" power.
Animals can also be "engineered". When salmon were modified with the gene for cold resistance from the flounder fish, they grew 10 times as fast as normal salmon because the inserted gene had interfered with their grown harmone gene. A pig was modified with a human gene to make it grow faster and leaner. But these efforts have resulted in numerous problems and serious diseases among the experimental animals.
In a 1994 field test, natural potatoes were planted at a distance of up to 1,100 metres from a batch of genetically modified potatoes. When seeds from the unmodified potatoes were later collected, it was found that 72% of the natural plants grown near the modified batch had absorbed the modified gene, and 35% of those grown further away had also done so. In another study in the same year, scientists at the Scottish Crop Research Institute found that pollen from genetically modified rapeseed had fertilized plants up to 2.5 kilometers away.
Учитывая то, что генная инженерия может привнести в продукты ранее не известные опасные свойства, каждый генетически модифицированный продукт должен быть подвергнут обследованию, способному выявить самый широкий спектр возможных опасностей.
Taking into account that genetic engineering can introduce unknown dangerous properties in products; each genetically modified product should be subjected to the inspection (which should be capable to reveal the widest spectrum of possible dangers).
I think that nowadays cloning of people is a problem of far future. Probably, after centuries, our planet will be occupied by cloned people and it will be absolutely not surprising. I think we will not see it first-hand, but we can help our children and grand children to get ready for these great events, to create the laws to control the projects connected with cloning and genetic modification.
The list of used literature:
1. Н. Грин, У. Стаут, Д. Тейлор, "Биология". "Мир", 1993.
2. Ф. Киберштерн. Гены и генетика. Москва, "Параграф", 1995.
3. "Знание-сила", №4, 1998 г.
4. "Природа", №1000, декабрь 1998 г.
5. С. Г. Мамонтов, "Биология". "Дрофа", 2001.
6. "Иностранные языки в школе", №7, 2004.
7. "Химия", 9 класс, Л. С. Гузей. "Дрофа", 1997.
8. "Основы общей биологии", 9 класс, И. Н. Пономарева. "Вентана-Граф", 2001.
9. www. rambler. ru
1 BSE – bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a usually fatal disease of cattle, believed to be caused by either prions or virinos.
2 To thumb the tub – to promote and push the project as quickly as possible.