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Risks and Disadvantages of Therapeutic Cloning

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Stem-Cells | Submitted: 2010-11-24 01:48:40
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Article Summary: "Therapeutic cloning is the process of using person's own stem cells to cure the disease. Though this technology is making its place in the biotech world but still it has many drawbacks..."


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Therapeutic cloning can be defined as the use of person's own body cells to make new stem cells so that they can be used against the cure of his disease. It is also called as somatic cell nuclear transfer in which the cell's nucleus is removed and added a foreign nucleus to make the cell genetically modified. Through this method a cloned human embryo can be created to use it in different experiments.

Everything which is beneficial for humans it has somehow disadvantages as well. For example, if therapeutic cloning helps to make genetically modified nucleus to cure the damaged or diseased tissues, it also has some drawbacks which can also be considered.

Though scientists are working hard to cure human diseases by using adult stem cells, but they are not getting the desired results like they got in the method of traditional cloning. Though in the beginning it was believed that therapeutic cloning will be helpful in curing the diseases, but as the application of adult stem cells is limited that is why this type of cloning is not giving the results which scientists want. On the other hand, embryos are considered much applicable in disease curing and most of the research should be done on them instead of adult stem cells.

Therapeutic cloning uses eggs to perform experiments on. But it is noted that many eggs are used during this process to get the required stem cell. If scientists start using a lot of eggs to get one stem cell, then where would they get all the eggs from? It is a big drawback of therapeutic cloning as well as it is also against the ethics to use eggs. It is believed that if therapeutic cloning is performed for a particular disease, scientists will have to use 1.5 billion eggs. If a woman agrees to donate an egg, she will have to pass through many painful processes and it will be costly too. She will never want her egg to be used in laboratory and scientists perform experiments on it.

As therapeutic coning is a new field so it still has some deficiency regarding the use of stem cells? It is possible that if stem cells are inserted in the body of a patient, the immune system of the person's body might reject them. Another possibility is that stem cells can be mutated due to which tumors can develop in person's body. When experiments performed on animals, some of them developed tumor in their body so scientists are afraid that same can happen in humans also. They are still performing experiments to make them 100% healthy and usable for people.

Most prominent disadvantage of therapeutic cloning is the use of embryos. Many critics claim that it is the death of a human if embryo is used to extract stem cells. They consider it murder and strictly oppose this act. Some believe that somatic cell nuclear transfer is also responsible for giving life to an embryo.

If therapeutic cloning is considered in organ transplantation, there are also some risks. If scientists transplant an organ in a person, there are chances that his immune system does not accept that particular organ. Patient will have to take anti rejection drugs for the rest of his life to make the immune system accept the organ. It is believed that therapeutic cloning will never get legal in all the countries because it has more disadvantages than advantages. As research is being held in every field of biology, scientists are still finding ways to make it acceptable by everyone whether it is government or critics.

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