Cloning vs. Stem Cell Research: Who benefits?

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Difference between Cloning and Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research has existed in our society for more than forty years whereas it has been only a few years since cloning was introduced. Controversies broke out in 1998 in regard to stem cell research. Television, newspapers and other types of media have made people more aware of these processes. Even though knowledge is limited, cases are still talked about a lot in the media and this is the main reason for so much hype for such incidents. Both processes are further looked into in the following paragraphs.

What They Are

Cloning is a method in which the unfertilized ovum has a nucleus that is to be replaced by the nucleus of another living being. The ovum is stimulated and makes an embryo and a nucleus containing most of the genetic requirements. This embryo creates its twin or "clone" of the person from who the nucleus was extracted from and is used in stem cell research and then transplanted eventually. Stem cell research is the multitasking cells in the body that reproduce themselves as well as produce specialized cells in the body. The potential is great and so is their value as they re-create and repair damaged tissues and cells. Conditions such as heart diseases, strokes and Alzheimer's are amongst the few that can be treated by using stem cells.

In-Depth Analysis

Cloning has be carried out on various mammals such as goats, cows, sheep, mice and pigs and it is proved that healthy animals are not created using this process. Problems are met at every step such as producing the embryos through the nuclear replacement, transferring it to a healthy offspring, etc. Clones have a high rate of being miscarried and chances of death are also high. In stem cell studies the resources are different. These cells are obtained from early embryos of humans; usually from aged embryos, from a new born child or from an adult. The stem cells become even more committed as the individual growth occurs.

Drawbacks

Abnormalities occur in clones and these may include immune systems malfunctions, heart defects and slow development. At any point in life, unpredictable conditions can occur and then after an age of almost thirty, they may gain weight. On the other hand, stem cell research includes destructing blastocysts formed in the human cells. This is considered immoral and is not acceptable by parts of society. Like other fairly new experiments, the effects are unknown and long termed as nature is interfered with.

Summary

  • Stem cell research and cloning both may have their advantages and disadvantages and one can not point at which is better.
  • The results are not always satisfactory using either one of the methods and therefore no guarantee is given as results such as miscarriages may also occur considered to be a failure of the process.
  • Where moral rights are questioned in regards to stem cell research, cloning is said to have other aspects which may not be pleasing that include cases such as abnormalities in the offspring.

Which science is most useful?
  • Cloning
  • Stem Cell Research
 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • Julie wrote on May 2010

Biotechnology companies have invested heavily in cloning and embryonic stem cell patents. Commercial interests endanger the clarity of the ethical discussion as commercial benefits may distort the fair presentation of the medical benefits.

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