Cloning of Animals

By Nikita K and Lorenzo P

What is it, how are they made?

A clone is an identical genetic copy of an animal. These clones are made by a series of complicated steps done in laboratories. It starts with any animal. The nucleus of a cell from this animal is extracted for its DNA. An egg from an animal of the same species which had its DNA removed is then needed. The nucleus is placed into the egg and the egg is then grown into an embryo. This embryo is then placed into the female from which the egg was taken from and the animal will have the clone as one of its offspring.

How is it being used in today's society?

The main use of cloning animals in today's society is for breeding, quality body type and quality products and materials. Farmers may want to breed the perfect cattle with superior genetics in comparison to the others. But this isn't always possible while breeding livestock normally. This is why farmers may want to clone quality livestock. They may be able to produce quality materials and produce faster than a normally bred animal. For example a farmer may want to clone a healthy and strong cow that produces lots of milk.

What are the risks of cloning? Are there any specific animals that have a higher risk?

According to many studies there are no issues or risks with cloning itself. The problems often arise from procedures and processes that occur outside of a clone. For example a cloned embryo may fail to develop when placed into the female animal who is going to have the clone as an offspring. Most clones who are normal after birth was given to them end up growing up to be strong and healthy as any normal offspring. But if born with abnormalities they will often suffer them until they are young adults. In specific calf and lamb offspring are more likely to have issues at birth and will usually die right after birth.

What are the possible effects of cloning animals? Economically? Environmentally?

Cloning animals may effect the economy dramatically. If you've ever gone to the store you probably have seen some expensive products that may seem like they should be abundant. Or that one type of meat is much more expensive than others. If animals are cloned to perfection, the cost of quality, meat, eggs, milk and many other products may drop drastically. This will also cause many companies that are centered around this market to go out of business. Environmentally there also may be repercussions. A herd of cloned animals may all be susceptible to one type of disease which may give them less of a chance to survive. If all animals are cloned this may cause huge outbreaks that can seriously damage the agriculture industry.

How does this affect us socially?

Many people may oppose the cloning of animals. This is due to the fact that these animals are essentially trapped in a cycle of being cloned, used for their materials and being sent off to get butchered for meat. Many may agree that this is extremely immoral and unethical. But some may argue that this may be a solution to world hunger and many other food related problems.

How will this affect our future?

Since cloning is still not perfected and there's still tons of research to be done, not much can be said on how this may affect our future. As well as that there are not many known ways of producing clones on such a mass scale that it may affect our economy and environment is a drastic way. But the mass cloning of animals could possibly solve many issues that have to do with world hunger and disease ridden foods.