Tag: Bioengineering

Bioengineering Ethics

Bioengineering Ethics

There are ethical issues related to bioengineering. A topic that is always up for debate is the science of cloning. Cloning is the replication of a life form by creating copies of DNA fragments. Cloning is similar to making a copy of a computer file. It is meant to be an exact replica of the original life form.

Many religious organizations oppose cloning due the very nature of the science. Many religious beliefs consider each person unique with each person or life form being created by a higher power, such as God. Cloning basically takes the place of God, as humans become the manufacturer of life instead of nature. Currently 13 states ban any form of reproductive cloning and 3 states prohibit use of public funds for any cloning related activities. There are currently no federal laws that prohibit cloning.
Human dignity is a common argument against cloning. The fact that cloning is not dignified, is enough for the catholic church to condemn cloning. It’s also enough for Canada to prohibit the following: Cloning humans, cloning stem cells, growing human embryos for research purposes, sex selection, and buying or selling of embryos, sperm, eggs or other human reproductive material.
Cloning for the greater good of humanity does not bring as much defiance. In fact, cloning has great benefits in the form of crops. Cloning can be used to improve the quality of the crops that we eat. It makes the plants resistant to herbicides, pest damage, infections and diseases. Cloned plants such as wheat, rice, maize, soybean, potato and others have been produced and are ready to be introduced into agriculture in the new future. Cloning genetically engineered animals can also be beneficial for highly efficient food production.

Cloning animals is still a highly inefficient process. The success rate ranges from .1 to 3 percent. So for every 1000 tries only around 30 will be successful. Therefore its simply not worth the effort at this point.

References:
The University of Utah. Cloning. Retrieved from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/cloning/
Wikipedia. Cloning. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloning#Ethical_issues_of_cloning
Wikipedia. Biological Engineering. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_engineering