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Genetic Engineering

Uploaded by figgy_6 on Apr 11, 2000

At the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Keith Campbell, director of embryology at PPL therapeutics in Roslin, and his colleague Dr. Ian Wilmut worked together on a project to clone a sheep, Dolly, from adult cells. On February 22, 1997, they finally succeeded. Dolly was the only lamb born from 277 fusions of oocytes with udder cells. Wilmut says there were so many failures because it is difficult to ensure that the empty oocytes and the donor cell are at the same stage of the cell division cycle. To clone Dolly, basically scientists took an unfertilized egg cell, removed the nucleus, replaced it with cells taken from the organism to be cloned, put it into an empty egg cell which begins to develop as an embryo, and implanted this embryo into a mother, from which the clone was born. The fact that only 1 out of 277 attempts succeeded is a little scary when applied to human beings. If an attempt to clone a human led to that high of a death toll, then there would not be many supporters. According to Rifkin, in an extensive survey of all 106 clinical trials of experimental gene therapies conducted over the past five years involving more than 597 patients, a panel of experts convened by the NIG reported that "Clinical efficacy has not been definitively demonstrated at this time in any gene therapy protocol, despite anecdotal claims of successful therapy." (545). These results are also happening with people who are trying to get gene therapy. With these facts on the table, it would not be ideal to try to clone humans if cloning an animal took several hundred attempts and human gene therapy has had hundreds of failures as well. Humans are going way beyond their limits in the field of biotechnology in the world today. Until recently, these ideas were unheard of. Now with new technology, scientists are capable of changing an organism's genetic make-up. We are very eager to learn new things, however, this eagerness gets in the way of common sense all too often. As stated in Starr and Taggart's article, "we do not have the wisdom to bring about beneficial changes without causing great harm to ourselves or to the environment." (514). However, the naïve public may want to jump right into things, and scientists will not disagree. Scientists are messing with things that they should not be messing with. Once...

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Uploaded by:   figgy_6

Date:   04/11/2000

Category:   Biology

Length:   6 pages (1,446 words)

Views:   1576

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