Saturday, March 26, 2016

The History of Cloning

Since cloning became a household term in 1997, the question of is it right still remains. Is it ethical to clone an animal? Just because we can doesn't mean we should. Whatever happened to Dolly, the first successfully cloned animal? More after the jump.

Portions of this article come from Life Magazine Special - Strange But True: 100 of the World's Weirdest Wonders - Purchase here
The world said hello to Dolly on February 22,1997. But when her birth was announced on that day, not every-one reacted with applause. This was because the ewe was a clone, the first animal to result from a cell taken from an adult of its species that was stimulated and then implanted in a surrogate mother. In Dolly's case, the cell had been part of a mammary gland, and the lamb was named after the cheerfully busty queen of country music, Dolly Parton. 

So thanks to those Scottish scientists, other genetic researchers began to replicate cows, mice, horses, cats and even dogs. The idea is to prevent an animal from becoming an endangered species or to increase our food supply.

The article mentions that critics wewre not silent on this. And possibly rightfully so.

Some argued that cloning animals was ethically wrong, against nature, and that it moved us perilously close to human cloning, which they viewed as an abomination before God. Others pointed out that cloning today was an inexact science resulting in many failures and deformed animals, and that, besides, it could not avoid longstanding problems associated with inbreeding.

Regardless of how you feel about it, it's now a 19 year old science and more and more advances are being made each year. Science fiction has now become science fact.  Unfortunately, Dolly, the cloned sheep, only lived lived for six years at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, where she was "created", producing four offspring of her own during that time. After developing a progressive lung disease, she was euthanized.

Even in death, Dolly has fed the controversies that had been ignited by her birth. Her keepers said the cancer she had developed was common in her breed and that there was no seeming connection to her being a clone. But others noted that Finn Dorset sheep such as Dolly have a life expectancy of a dozen years or more, and wondered, since she had been cloned from an animal that was already 6 years old, whether half her life was behind her even as she was being weaned. 
Is cloning wrong? I remember a time when people thought test tube babies in the early 1980s was an abomination before God. Tell that to Louise Brown. On July 25, 1978, Louise was the world's first successful "test-tube" baby was born in Great Britain. Now decades later this is considered a normal every day option for people having difficulties wanting to conceive.

Portions of this article come from Life Magazine Special - Strange But True: 100 of the World's Weirdest Wonders - Purchase here!

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