The Potential of Cloning Livestock

by Avi & Alonzo

What is cloning?

Cloning is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals. In nature this occurs form asexual reproduction from organisms such as bacteria. However there is another type of cloning. It is the process of extracting the genetic information or DNA of an organism. This is the first step in cloning any organism. After the DNA is extracted form the desire organism, the DNA must but put into an embryonic cell that has no DNA from the same organism. After the DNA is replaced, the embryonic cell is then placed into another female of the same species to allow the "clone" to grow. Overall, three animals are needed in order to clone one: the animal with the desired DNA, the mother and the animal where the embryonic cell is extracted.

Benefits of cloning

There are two benefits to cloning livestock. The major and most beneficial aspect of cloning any livestock is that any particular trait that is beneficial such as producing good milk or having soft wool, can be replicated exactly. This will make the livestock more profitable. Another benefit for cloning livestock is if an ideal animal is killed, either for meat or die of natural causes, the cells from the carcass can be cloned allowing the high-quality trait be passed on and used again.

Disadvantages of Cloning

Because cloning is in its early stages there are a lot of disadvantages regarding it. One of the biggest disadvantages are if one clone is susceptible to a disease, then all clones are susceptible to that disease. Another disadvantage is less variation meaning less opportunity to create new varieties in the future. There are still a whole bunch of problems with cloning although hopefully in the future they will get worked out.

How is it being used currently?

A very common use of cloning currently is to increase the quality of certain consumable products. For example, if a person own a dairy farm which has over 100 cows, chances are not all the cows produce the same quality of milk. Well, what if there is one cow who produces the best quality milk, gives birth quickly and is well-behaved? As a dairy farm owner, I’m certain that individual would want every cow to be like that. This is where cloning would be useful. By copying the DNA from that cow and producing multiple cows from that DNA a farm owner could rapidly increase the productivity, quality & profit.

Potential uses in society with this technology could possibly be able to customize children. If a couple wants their child to have a certain hair color they could genetically modify their DNA so it appears the way they want to.

How does it affect organisms (and which kind) physically?

Dolly The Sheep

In the example of Dolly the Sheep, Dolly was cloned to see how genetically cloned animals would be like. She was born on July 5, 1996. Dolly was able to reproduce offspring like a normal sheep. However, at an early age she developed arthritis in a hind leg. This affected her mobility in a negative way. Dolly ended up getting euthanized February 14, 2003. A typical sheep’s life span is 12 years, but due to the negative effects of her being cloned she only lived 7 years.

Economic impact

Cloning livestock would have a general positive affect on our economy. Normal livestock come with some good and some bad. Some of the livestock can be very good quality making a good some of profit but others can be low-quality bringing in low profits. If cloning is used to create all high quality livestock then the profitability will increase. In turn this will lower the price of goods since the farmers are making more profit. It will also create jobs in the scientific field of cloning.

The impact on the enviroment

Cloning doesn’t have a major impact on the environment. However the effect cloning can have on the environment is producing a lot of offspring as well as creating a new disease or disorder among the species of animal created.

Cloning in the future

Cloning will most likely have a big part in our future. This is due to the fact that if the technique for cloning is more predictable and has a less chance for failure, it would be used more often. Cloning livestock will then lead to better products and cheaper pricing of goods since the producers will be making more of a profit. Also cloning livestock will be a major part in our future because cloning the perfect livestock is ideal and more profitable.

What are the Ethics regarding Cloning

There is a lot of debate over whether cloning is seen as Ethical or not. Most views come from different religious groups. There is also the fact that technology has not developed to the point where it is 100% safe. In order to clone scientists have to copy the DNA from a cell and have it grow in an incubated environment which doesn't always work.
Human Cloning

Works Cited