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.
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.
Cloning in the future
What are the Ethics regarding Cloning