Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Over the last several decades, the ideas of both stem cell research and cloning have received significantly more attention than ever before. Along with that attention has also come a great deal of controversy. With so many new advances in medical technology, these new resources have provided scientists and doctors with a new, unlocked door of potential to help people suffering from various diseases as well as to help them recover from certain serious injuries. It is important for people to understand both the cloning and stem cell use process so that they can be better educated about its many pros and cons in the scientific world.
A stem cell is a cell that is found in any organism that is multicellular. In essence, just about every living thing contains stem cells including plant life. These types of cells can be divided and then regenerated in order to create more cells, which can be fused together. In humans, stem cells can be obtained from a number of different sources including bone marrow, fat cells (lipids), and blood. Stem cells from blood can be extracted through a process that filters them out. Stem cells from humans can also be obtained from the blood of a mother’s umbilical cord after the baby is born. There are many medical benefits to using stem cells in a wide variety of applications.
- Stem Cell Basics
- What are Stem Cells?
- The Nature of Stem Cells
- Stem Cells: What They Are and What They Do
- Introduction: Stem Cells
Scientific cloning was first begun in Germany by a scientist named Hans Spemann in 1935. Cloning can also occur naturally. The process of cloning occurs when a living organism reproduces itself asexually, or through the absence of sexual acts. Scientists are discovering ways to clone DNA through laboratory measures as well. This term is referred to as a somatic cell nuclear transplant. Some living organisms such as certain species of insects and plants already clone themselves naturally, but the scientific use of cloning other organisms is also being explored. The term reproductive cloning refers to the act of cloning in which the scientist allows the cells to continue to live. Therapeutic cloning refers to when scientists “kill” the clone in order to harvest the stem cells for other use.
Stem Cell Research and Cloning
The process of both cloning and stem cell research has provided medical doctors with new hope for those suffering from injuries and other medical issues. Bone marrow transplants can be done with ease through the use of stem cells. People suffering from spinal cord injuries have also been known to benefit from the use of stem cells in order to help them re-grow the spine. It has also been known to help people with eye problems such as macular degeneration. Cloning allows researchers to create new cells and then extract the stem cells from them, without harming any living organisms. While most people envision cloning as a “mad scientist” process used to create carbon copies of another animal or person, in the scientific world, it is typically done on a much smaller level, and using only small cells. Extracting these stem cells from the cloned cell allows the scientists to produce more stem cells, which can then in turn be used in a number of different surgical procedures.
- Stem Cell Research and Cloning
- Cloning and Stem Cells
- Human Cloning Makes Embryonic Stem Cells
- New Technique to Clone Stem Cells
- Cloning Around with Stem Cells
Ethics of Cloning and Stem Cell Research
There have been many disputes over the ethics of both cloning and stem cell research. Some claim that scientists are “playing God” by using cloning in their research. Because many stem cells are harvested from umbilical blood, certain groups feel that this is unethical and harmful to the value of life. There have also been instances where scientists harvested stem cells from aborted babies, which is considered by many to be unethical. In addition, some religions feel that both cloning and the use of stem cells are unnatural, and therefore are not in agreement with the natural order. Proponents of cloning and stem cell research feel that it is a new and effective advancement in the ability to cure a number of diseases and injuries.