ADVANTAGES OF CLONING
Among the advantages offered by cloning are the following:
1. The possibility of producing not a complete body but just an organ to save the life of a human being who requires the transplant of that organ.
2. The cloning of a complete human being whose bone marrow would help to save the life of his brother ill with leukemia. The transplant of bone marrow calls for a close biological link between the donor and the beneficiary, which in the case of cloning is really the closest possible relationship. In England there was a case where a woman felt obliged to conceive another child who could provide bone marrow for her only son who suffered from leukemia.
3. The cloning of transgenetic animals, that is animals with modifications brought about by human genes, to use their organs in transplants in human beings and thus avoid their rejection. Once a prototype of this kind is got then its mass reproduction by cloning is easier. It's not necessary to go through the inevitable variations and unpredictable situations that attend sexual reproduction.
4. The reproduction of therapeutic human proteins in the milk of sheep or other mammals, introducing a gen that is active exclusively in the mammary glands of the animals.
5. Cloning also allows the propagation of animals facing extinction and thus maintains ecological balance.
6. Cloning permits a greater propagation of insects that help control plagues that damage agricultural products, thus reducing the use of insecticides and pesticides, improving the quality of human life and protecting the environment.
7. Through cloning the industrial method is applied to biology; in other words: quality control and prediction. The quality of the clone is known beforehand, and also it is known perfectly well that its characteristics are identical in 99% with those of the original (donor).
8. Cloning also permits that mankind could increase the benefits that would accrue to the human race with an eminent person such as an Einstein, a Newton, a Beethoven,or an Aristotle. But would we really reproduce Einstein himself, Newton himself, Beethoven himself, and Aristotle himself? From the biological point of view, yes, but as we have already seen, "the circumstances" have different effects on the genes, and for this reason Thomas Edison said that genius is the result of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. This is an exaggeration, but without any doubt the extragenetic factors are very important.
9. Cloning will also enable us to understand why nervous cells, unlike the others in the human body, don't multiply.
This is very important because if nerve cells could be multiplied it would be eventually possible, among other things, to enable paralyzed people, who have suffered the fracture of their spinal cord, to walk again.
10. Cloning will also hopefully allow us to understand why certain specialized cells suffer an enormous and unnecessary reproduction. They go through a process of regression to their embryonic state, multiplying incessantly and causing cancerous tumors that eventually lead to death.
11. Cloning also makes it possible to preserve certain qualities in selected fruits and plants according to the convenience of human beings and nature. This has been going on at a practical level during many years since man discovered it 8,000 years ago, as we saw above.
12. Cloning also makes possible the exact reproduction to 99% of different animals, whether they are cows, hogs or horses, without playing the roulette of sexual reproduction, since the cloned are all identical. This situation will help scientific research, since the experiments with the different medications are performed on the same basis, and the present distortion due to differences between laboratory animals wouldn't exist.
13. The British company IMUTRAN at present mass-produces hogs that have been genetically manipulated and that will provide organs to be transplanted to human beings.
14. Cloning will also make it possible to have children with the characteristics of one parent, in the case where the other suffers from a serious genetic illness that has not yet been cured.
15. The freedom to reproduce, one of whose forms is undoubtedly cloning, is derived from the right to life and to have an identity.
16. In the case of the divorce of the parents of an only child who are in court seeking custody, the case could be resolved more peacefully if that only son were cloned. Thus both parents could have a biologically identical, and even psychologically similar, child.
17. Cloning will permit investigation and analysis of the very structure of genes in different circumstances, as Ortega y Gasset would say. If we had cells from Aristotle, Plato, Newton, Cervantes or Einstein, we could now have their genetic copies. In that case it might occur that Aristotle, instead of practising philosophy, would now be building interplanetary rockets. or solving the most serious problems of mankind, or he might well be dedicated to cloning. In this way one could see the role of personality in relation to genetic conditioning and the environment.
18. Cloning might also enable a sterile woman to have a child from her own body, using any cell from her organism.
19. The techniques of cloning, that is the duplication of cells and genes, forms an integral part of the effort to prepare advanced medicines for diagnosis and vaccines, for the treatment of heart diseases, to cure various kinds of cancer, kidney ailments, diabetes, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, etc. More than a 100 million patients have benefited up to now and these techniques are being researched and developed for the last 20 years. The techniques will serve also to produce skin, cartilages, and bones to save the victims of burns and accidents, and also to produce cells to cure cancer, or repair the retina, or the spinal column.
All these methods are at the moment under patent.
20. According to surveys, 6% of North Americans favor the carrying out of research in the area of cloning, and more than 80% are against this. However, 71% favor continuing the research and the technique. With regard to the production of medicines, transplants, and other medical benefits, this would involve, without any doubt, the cloning of human beings.
21. James Watson, the 1971 Nobel prizewinner, who was rewarded for having discovered the structure of the hereditary material, has said that for the solution of the world's problems which are more complicated each day, we urgently need copies of those persons who were truly extraordinary.
22. Alex Kahn, the French molecular genetist, admits that at present most people are against cloning, but he's sure at the same time that this will change. This opposition exists because of ignorance of the theme; because people are always afraid of the unknown and because, above all, many haven't yet considered the link that exists between cloning and immortality, which is the oldest and dearest dream which the human being would like to convert into reality, since no one wants to die, in spite of the existence of suicide.