9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning Animals
Since its introduction, the practice of animal cloning has always been a highly controversial topic that is debated by many people from all around the world. With the modern advanced technologies, it has become much easier for scientists to clone animals, but still, research is continuously developing and has not reached a viable stage—nevertheless, the future creations are showing some promise. Generally, there are benefits as well as potential drawbacks in cloning animals. Here, you will know the advantages and disadvantages this practice and can decide if it is the best solution to the decreasing number of certain animal species today.
List of Advantages of Cloning Animals
1. It offers benefits for clinical trials and medical research.
Scientists have been using animal subjects in research and clinical trials, where genetically altered mice are mostly to make them carriers of diseases and then used for experiments. However, the process can take several steps and time to complete. But with cloning applied, scientists are now able to create transgenic animals, increasing genetically identical animal models in a short period of time compared with the usual process.
2. It addresses the problem of endangered animals going extinct.
Those who support animal cloning argue that this scientific process provides a solution for conserving and preserving animal species. Aside from this, the technology can also used to even revive extinct species. Through reproductive cloning, the nucleus that is containing DNA is removed from the female’s egg of the animal being cloned. Then, a mature cell with the DNA of the cloned species is injected into an empty egg cell, resulting in an embryo that will be carried by a surrogate mother which will then give birth to an offspring that is genetically similar with the cell donor.
3. It can be used to increase the supply of meat and milk for consumption.
Animals are great sources of meat and milk that we use on a daily basis. Now, the agricultural industry can certainly benefit from the advancement of animal cloning by reproducing animals with superior genes that make for livestock that yields more meat and milk. In fact, cloning can be a way to create breeds that can produce milk twice as much as those born from traditional methods of breeding.
4. It can help in the production of proteins and drugs in the field of medicine.
Livestock, such as cows, goats and sheep, are great sources of protein that are needed in the science of medicine, particularly in the research on human blood clotting. And by cloning animals, the problem with the shortage of protein sources, as well as vaccines that are derived from animals, can be resolved. Scientists and medical researchers can also have enough animal models for drug experiments and testing. Basically, this practice can help facilitate the production of more animals that are genetically engineered for medical and pharmaceutical purposes, such as xenotransplantation.
5. It can aid stem cell research.
Stem cells are used in curing a variety of diseases and in building and repairing body tissues. Based on observations, animal cloning might be able to aid in stem cell research, especially in the aspects of time and money spent. Given that the process is done successfully, we might be looking at a future where human stem cells can be cloned to produce identical cells for particular individuals.
List of Disadvantages of Cloning Animals
1. It goes against the normal course of nature by taking the role of God.
When it comes to cloning animals, there are always moral and ethical issues involved, as it is seen as a process where man is attempting to alter procreation. This has been raised by animal and human activists who see it as a threat to biodiversity, saying that this is clearly trying to alter evolution, which can eventually have an impact on populations and the ecosystem. On the moral aspect in particular, it is considered as an act against God, who is believed to be the creator of all things, animals included.
2. It is tedious and can be very expensive.
Considering all the procedures, tests, equipment and time that are needed for animal cloning, the entire process can be very expensive. As you can see, researchers and scientists have to spend hours and money to reach a successful result, but before it is achieved, there would be a lot of failures they would encounter, which means time and funds wasted.
3. It can cause animals to suffer.
Reports show that animal surrogates were manifesting adverse outcomes, and cloned animals were having diseases and even high mortality rates. One of these negative results is the large offspring syndrome (LOS), where clones are large at birth since they came from mature cells. Also, there are insufficient renal development, hernia and a few other conditions. Since there are many failed attempts than successful ones, there are many animals that are born with defects who are surely suffering.
4. It might compromise human health through consumption of cloned animal meat.
Though the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that meat and milk from cloned animas are safe, there are still several contentions about the safety in consuming these products. As you can see, a significant number of Americans are not buying the idea of having served cloned meat on their dinner tables, let alone eat them. Also, the FDA issued a statement about the adverse effects of cloning to surrogate animals and the clones themselves.
Though cloning animals might sound amazing on films, it still remains experimental with a lot of limitations in the real world. As of now, researchers and scientists still conducting in-depth studies to try and perfect the method. Not everyone agrees to cloning, where some people claim that it is immoral and unethical, as well as even a potential source of a new world scheme where there would be superior and inferior animals. But by knowing its advantages and disadvantages, you will be enlightened about how you appreciate life one way or another.