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What Are the Medical Advantages of Cloning?

A scientist working in a cloning lab.
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  • Written By: Melanie Smeltzer
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
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Although there are many potential downsides, and many people feel uncertain about whether or not this practice is morally right, the advantages of cloning are numerous. Certain types of cloning may be used to create food sources with a higher nutritional value, while others may be used to create types of medicine or treatments. One of the best-known advantages of cloning is organ transplantation, which could potentially save the lives of accident victims and of those waiting for an organ donation.

The medical benefits of cloning may begin with the actual nourishment of the body. Not only can cloned cows and chickens produce more eggs and milk, but scientists may also be able to genetically alter the nutritional value of these foods. Infants incapable of breastfeeding may also benefit from certain types of animal cloning. For instance, a cow whose genetic code is manipulated may produce milk that contains proteins similar to those found in human breast milk.

Fertility is another one of the possible advantages of cloning. For those who are sterile, this solution may provide hope where other options have failed. One of the most common processes of reproductive cloning begins by injecting the genetic material of one parent into an egg. Once this is done, the egg is stimulated by electricity or chemicals, then placed into the uterus. Although this process has been accomplished to some degree in animals, further research is needed to see whether or not it will also work for humans.

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Besides nutrition and fertility, the benefit of cloning reach into treating and possibly curing many medical issues. Organ transplantation is the best-known medical use for cloning. Sometimes transplanted organs are harvested from animals, which are regularly rejected by human recipients. Cloned animals, however, may bear human genes, which may make rejection less common. Cloning may also be beneficial in replacing bone, cartilage, and skin in burn and accident victims.

Other medical advantages of cloning consist of the creation of advanced medicine. These medicines may be used for heart and bone marrow treatments, to control diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and perhaps even to cure kidney conditions and Parkinson's disease. In addition, cloning might also be able to cure certain types of cancer by replacing mutated genes with healthy, normal ones. This process often consists of taking immune cells from the patient's own body, duplicating them, and then placing them back into the system.

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