Cloning has long been a subject of fascination in our society. Movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Avatar have captured the imagination of the common man with their depictions of cloning. However, cloning in the real world is a bit more complicated. Since it involves the creation and often destruction of embryos, many people consider it unnatural and unethical. Unfortunately, because of this, the advancement of cloning has been a slow, arduous process. However, the benefits of cloning far outweigh the moral concerns.

Cloning is actually a lot different than what most people envision. CHSJ.org tells us that “Although clone and cloned individual have the same genes, traits and personalities are different.” This means that if you cloned yourself, the resulting clone would probably look more like a sibling than an identical twin, and their personality would be entirely dependent on how they were raised. This means that if human cloning was put into practice, there would not be multiple copies of people running around, it would just be as if another member to the family was born. While cloning actual humans doesn’t have that many exciting applications, other types of cloning are far more exciting. One of the most useful of these is therapeutic cloning. In this style of cloning, no actual organism is created, just embryos. The nucleus of the cell of a donor is placed into an egg without a nucleus, and then zapped with electricity, leading to the creation of an embryo with identical DNA as the donor. These embryo’s have the potential to grow into almost any cell in the body, which means they have an absurd number of applications. A patient with diabetes could have a clone embryo made, and then this embryo could be made into Insulin producing cells that would be compatible with the donor’s body. These embryos could potentially even be used to grow entirely new organs for those in need of transplant, negating the need for a compatible donor. One of the biggest qualms people have is that these embryos are being solely created for somebody else’s use. They have no chance of ever becoming a person. Whether or not therapeutic cloning is ethical depends on your view of at what moment is a human truly a human. Do these embryos have the rights of grown humans? These questions are difficult to answer, but the potentially lifesaving applications of cloning should be enough to convince most that it is a viable practice.

Beyond human cloning, there are several more cloning practices which could have great benefits. We could collect embryos and nuclear DNA from every animal on the endangered species list, and if they ever did become extinct, we could produce clones of them and potentially revive the species. Also, we make copies of animals and imbibe them with potentially lifesaving benefits. At the moment, frogs are dying all over the world for fungal infections, but we could create clones of these frogs that are immune to the disease. Perhaps one of the most exciting utilization of cloning is bringing back long-dead species, like the woolly mammoth. Since we have obtained tissue samples of the woolly mammoth, cloning it has become a reality. NatGeo say that “The goal to have the first baby in two to three years.” While recreating a woolly mammoth wouldn’t exactly have many direct benefits, it would certainly be an incredible step forward in science.

Ultimately, cloning is one of the most practical and incredible practices of modern science, and it would be ridiculous not to pursue it further. Sure, there are some ethical concerns, but these are far outmatched by the potential benefits. Cloning is something we should invest in, because it has the possibility to transform our world completely

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CC BY-SA 4.0 The Magic of Cloning by Logan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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