The possibility of human cloning, raised when Scottish scientists at Roslin Institute created the much-celebrated sheep "Dolly" ( aroused worldwide interest and concern because of its scientific and ethical implications. The feat, cited by Science magazine as the breakthrough of 1997, also generated uncertainty over the meaning of "cloning" --an umbrella term traditionally used by scientists to describe different processes for duplicating biological material.
Image: Dolly, the cloned sheep
Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal. Dolly was created by reproductive cloning technology.
Dolly or any other animal created using nuclear transfer technology is not truly an identical clone of the donor animal. Only the clone's chromosomal or nuclear DNA is the same as the donor.
If the low success rates can be improved (Dolly was only one success out of 276 tries), reproductive cloning can be used to develop efficient ways to reliably reproduce animals with special qualities. For example, drug-producing animals or animals that have been genetically altered to serve as models for studying human disease could be mass produced.
Should humans be cloned?
Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human (not usually referring to multiple births), human cell, or human tissue. The ethics of cloning is an extremely controversial issue.
The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning; human clones in the form of identical twins are commonplace, with their cloning occurring during the natural process of reproduction. There are two commonly discussed types of human cloning: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells from an adult for use in medicine and is an active area of research, while reproductive cloning would involve making cloned humans. Such reproductive cloning has not been performed and is illegal in many countries.
Advocates of human therapeutic cloning believe the practice could provide genetically identical cells for regenerative medicine, and tissues and organs for transplantation.
Some advocates claim that human reproductive cloning also would produce benefits. Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos hope to create a fertility treatment that allows parents who are both infertile to have children with at least some of their DNA in their offspring.
Physicians from the American Medical Association and scientists with the American Association for the Advancement of Science have issued formal public statements advising against human reproductive cloning. The U.S. Congress has considered the passage of legislation that could ban human cloning.
Due to the inefficiency of animal cloning (only about 1 or 2 viable offspring for every 100 experiments) and the lack of understanding about reproductive cloning, many scientists and physicians strongly believe that it would be unethical to attempt to clone humans.
Science has managed to start life in a petri dish and fertilize human ova. These ova are transferred back into the womb of the woman; this is called In Vitro Fertilization. Many of the implanted eggs do not take and the process has to be repeated, or failure encountered.
All human beings have something which animates the foetus, causes unconscious activity (hair growing, breathing, bodily growth), the presence of self awareness and the mind. Science cannot bestow this, science can only kick-start the process in IVF.
That entity science cannot bestow is called spirit, anima, or soul.
The soul comes from the Divine, as it is a spark of the Divine.