Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar

Friday, October 2, 2009

Genetically Engineered Animals – Animal Cloning

animal cloningAnimal Cloning

Before I talk about the why usually animal cloning creates abnormalities, let me brief an idea f what cloning actually is. There are different types cloning, viz. Molecular Cloning (DNA cloning or gene cloning), Therapeutic Cloning and Reproductive Cloning

Animal cloning is the highly technical process by which bio-technologists produces an organism from a single cell taken from a parent organism. The new born is genetically identical, which means the cloned animal is an exact duplicate of the parent in every respect… even with exact DNA. Dolly the first cloned mammal had been created by Reproductive Cloning. Scientists have cloned many animals. It was in the year 1952 that the scientists had cloned the world’s first animal – a tadpole. Since then hundreds of animals have been cloned, and many had been done successfully, while others proved to be unsuccessful. Cloning technologies have to be improved before more species can be successfully cloned. Many people have raised their voices against cloning as they think animal cloning as against nature, although most scientists consider that animal cloning is a major break though as this has a number of benefits in it! The most prominent beneficial possibility of a successful animal cloning is to save the endangered species from getting extinct.

Against all odds, scientists have been burning their midnight oil in making the cloning techniques better and finding why most animal cloning has created abnormalities. Dr. Takumi Takeuchi worked with the pool of medical professionals and had compared imprinting abnormalities in the embryos of mice that had been derived from assisted reproduction cloning techniques. Dr. Takumi Takeuchi, from Cornell University, New York, USA told that he and the medical team of Dr. Gianpiero Palermo had worked on this project. The doctor said, “We found significantly impaired development in the cloned embryos compared with those derived from more conventional ART techniques, and this has made us more convinced that reproductive cloning is unsafe and should not be applied to humans.”

A lot of researches have been undertaken and it was found that reproductive cloning has increased the incidence of imprinting abnormalities in genetically engineered animals. The most prominent abnormalities that have been recorded is “Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome”, where offspring are born larger than normal. This condition is also called “large offspring syndrome”.

The pool of medical professionals working under Dr. Takeuchi concluded that it was not fully proved if there was any direct link between the a specific cause for the abnormalities and cloning, “But there are a number of possibilities”, he said.
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