is a method of obtaining several identical organisms by asexual (including vegetative) reproduction. In this way, many species of plants and animals multiply in nature over millions of years.
However, now the term “cloning” is usually used in a narrower sense and means copying cells, genes, antibodies and even multicellular organisms in the laboratory. By origin, as a result of asexual reproduction, the specimens are genetically the same, but they can also observe hereditary variability caused by random mutations or created artificially by laboratory methods.
With the development of science, such concepts as genetic engineering, cloning entered into everyday life. At first it was an exciting journey, where a person could fantasize, come up with opportunities that would open this direction of science. This is the healing of all diseases, and a change in the plant and animal world. In recent years, when successes in this area have become evident, the first results have appeared, people suddenly thought that not everything is so simple and beautiful in this phenomenon. Thinking and … scared. Hence the many beliefs and myths that illuminate this phenomenon. Accurate information on the latest achievements is carefully classified, so creeping rumors nourish people. Distributed as myths about cloned and genetically modified animals, as well as fictions about artificially modified plants.
Well, let’s try with the help of the existing data to understand what is true and what is fiction. Of course, most of these statements are true for the civilized world and countries. Actions in clandestine laboratories of the third world countries can not be controlled and explained, but they are limited in scope, because with the power of state programs it is difficult for them to compare.
Genetic engineering can only help people.
In fact, huge amounts of money are invested in the application of these technologies to animals. In the US, more than 100 licenses have been issued for the use of genetic engineering products for animals. Basically it is biopreparations, vaccines, as well as diagnostic tools. In this area, money is constantly invested, more than $ 400 million is spent annually on research. In general, around 18 billion dollars are spent annually on the treatment of animals and the maintenance of their health around the world, of which almost 3 billion are biotechnological products.
Cloning and genetic engineering is a matter of the distant future.
It would seem that the first samples were received very recently – the first clone animal, the Dolly lamb in 1997, and the first living creatures in which the extraneous gene was introduced in 2004. They were decorative fish Glofish, which absorbed the sea anemone gene and were able to fluoresce with red light. Technologies and opportunities are developing so rapidly that organizations engaged in this business are getting commercial orders with might and main. In late 2004, the owner was returned to a clone of a recently deceased beloved cat. And if the cost of such a new pet has reached 50 thousand dollars, then the purchase of such unusual fish is quite affordable for anyone. Large companies that occupy biotechnology successfully cloned hundreds of cattle, but so far neither their meat nor milk is on the market. In general, rats, horses, rabbits, and pigs have already been successfully cloned in laboratories.
Pets do not need biotechnology.
Dogs and cats receive vaccine-produced vaccines that are much more effective than conventional vaccines. With the help of gene therapy, vision is restored in sick animals, and various malignant tumors and bone cancer are cured. It is even proposed to study (sequencing) the DNA of extra-purebred animals to identify useful genes.For domesticated animals, scientists are constantly developing all new technologies that are aimed at improving animal health, increasing their productivity. With the help of genetically modified feed, which is easily assimilated and more nutritious, the cost of keeping animals is reduced. Once and artificial insemination seemed unacceptable, new technologies would soon become customary, help improve the breed of animals, reduce the risks of hereditary diseases, and strengthen the overall health of livestock.
Genetic engineering has been the cause of the latest terrible epidemics, such as avian influenza, mad cow disease and others.
These diseases are not related to this science. On the contrary, biotechnologists around the world are struggling against the terrible epidemics, developing all new vaccines. For example, in South Korea, a breed of cows is derived, in the body of which no protein is formed, which is the cause of mad cow disease. With the help of gene technologies, scientists are trying to control the activity of mosquitoes that tolerate malaria and other diseases.
Animal transplantation to humans is just a fiction.
The fact is that this idea has been in the air for a long time. The first serious experiments were conducted back in the 80’s, in one American clinic the patient was tried to transplant the heart of a baboon monkey. However, the body worked only 20 minutes. The pig is the closest in terms of a gene set to a person, so its organs are successfully used by doctors to treat people. The heart valves of these animals are transplanted to a person, and the skin is transplanted to the site of the burned one. In several countries, they are trying to create genetically modified pigs, whose organs will not be rejected by the human body at all.
Known clone – sheep Dolly suffered a lot and died prematurely.
Indeed, the sheep-celebrity lived a little less than the average of her fellow tribesmen. The cause of her death was lung disease, which usually occurs in elderly individuals. However, there is no reason to consider her death as premature aging, since in individuals permanently in a closed room the risk of such a disease increases. Dolly, for safety, almost did not graze in the fresh air. Deviations in the structure of chromosomes were found only in one of the first studies and were not subsequently confirmed. So we can assume that Dolly’s death came from quite natural causes.
Animals are just a tool for testing new biotechnologies.
In fact, technology is designed to improve the health of pets. New vaccines are being developed and actively introduced into veterinary medicine, for example, from rabies. It has become much easier to identify many diseases in the early stages, such as feline AIDS. For farm animals, new developments will help increase the number of livestock, reduce the risks of genetic diseases. Scientists have already brought out a breed of cows that do not develop mastitis. For wild species, works are carried out on artificial fertilization and in vitro embryo cultivation, which will allow conservation of rare and endangered species.
Clones are still different from ordinary animals.
Scientists are also interested in this issue, and special studies have been conducted that analyzed all aspects of animal performance – behavior, nutrition, physiological processes. The results showed that there is no difference compared to conventional animals.
Cloning does not in any way concern wild animals.
Scientists successfully use cloning to conserve endangered species of animals. In recent years, endangered European mouflons, bulls of gaur and bantengs have been successfully cloned. The cloned specimen of the latter even lives in the San Diego Zoo. Many zoos, unable to recreate living specimens of animals, so they create cryobanks, which store samples of eggs and tissues of endangered species of animals and birds.
Foods derived from genetically modified or cloned animals are harmful.
Animals grown with biotechnology differ from ordinary animals only for the better – and this is a fact. The fact is that people for millennia were engaged in breeding new, improved breeds unconsciously and relatively recently began to use genetics. At the same time, scientists control the process and follow the results much more carefully than the usual farmer, at least because of the cost of breeding one animal. After birth, dieticians and veterinarians begin to watch carefully for its development. Agricultural monitoring institutions carefully monitor institutions that are engaged in breeding “artificial” animals. Studies conducted by different scientists in different countries debunked the myth about the harm of meat and milk of cloned animals, there was no difference compared to the products of ordinary animals.
The death rate at birth in cloned animals is much higher than in normal animals.
This statement is true, many artificial embryos are non-viable, and the mortality at delivery is really high. But even with the usual breeding of animals, few are left for breeding, which correspond to the specified breeders’ parameter, while the rest, being, sadly, a by-product, are killed.
Ordinary animals are less sick than clones.
This is a myth, as studies of many serious institutions (for example, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States) for almost a decade have shown that there are no significant deviations from normal animals in cloned animals.
The entry of genetically modified animals into the natural environment can be dangerous for the environment.
Experiments on gene modification are applied exclusively to domestic and agricultural animals. Therefore, the probability of their entry into the wild environment is small. However, if suddenly an unusual cat or cow escapes from the person, then for the wild nature they do not pose any danger. For starters, it should be noted that artificial hybrids are poorly adapted to life in the natural environment, there will be very few chances of survival in their offspring. The fears of fish, which grow, are almost 10 times faster than their usual relatives, but they need much more food too, which will not be possible in a natural environment, in the battle for survival. Therefore, we can say that nature itself will protect itself from uninvited guests.
All research and experiments are a series of bullying of animals.
Activist groups require to stop animal experiments and use computer models. In fact, the animal clones and individuals used for experiments are watched very carefully, they are cared for with special care and they do not need anything, and computer models can not provide a complete picture. Again, government agencies carefully inspect research institutions. However, activists pursue an aggressive policy, up to beating scientists and persecuting their families, which forced the FBI to view their actions as terrorist threats. In the struggle for animal rights, which are not infringed, people are ready to go on a direct violation of the rights of their fellow citizens! In the US, the state stands up for the protection of biomedical research, rigidly punishing those who illegally prevent it.
A clone is an exact copy of the progenitor and can take its place.
This myth implies the creation of clones of animals or people of absolutely the same age, appearance and character. Many are afraid that the clone can encroach on the place of its ancestor! However, such opportunities exist only in fantastic subjects.
With the help of clone people, you can grow the right people.
Fantasy draws to many the cultivation of the army of plumbers or the armies of trained soldiers.Refuting this myth, you can see that, firstly, cloning only reproduces a set of genes, and professional skills are acquired and inherited in no way transmitted, so they can not be “programmed.” Secondly, do not forget that the clone is not someone’s slave – it’s an independent person with the rights of an ordinary person. Who can make him be what he does not want? The law will protect the rights of such a person. Well, the most important argument is economic. The cost of human cloning is still high, therefore, even taking into account the refinement and improvement of technology, the production of a large number of clones for the purpose of their specific specialization is simply unprofitable.
In the process of cloning, a nucleus is extracted from a normal human cell, which is transferred to a female egg in which the nucleus is removed in advance.
Further, such a cell is placed in a nutrient medium, where it begins to divide, eventually the embryo appears, which in the case of a person is nurtured within 9 months. After birth, a clone, like an ordinary person, will go through all stages of life – growth and development. The received personality will differ from the progenitor almost all – age, character, habits and even fingerprints, even the appearance will be slightly different, because even identical twins differ from each other. A great influence on the development of the clone will be provided by the environment in which the clone will grow, be brought up.