The idea of reproductive cloning has been something that has been the plot point of several science fiction novels, but it hasn’t become a viable scientific reality until only recently. The near future could very well allow people to create children based directly off of their own genetic profile. The result would be a person who has the exact same genetic makeup and physical characteristics of their parent. There are some advantages and disadvantages to the concept of reproductive cloning, so here are the pros and cons to consider.
The Pros of Reproductive Cloning
1. Infertile parents can still be able to have children.
Sometimes parents have infertility issues that prevent them from having children. By using the process of reproductive cloning, those women who have no eggs or men who don’t have viable sperm to fertilize their partner’s egg can still have a genetic descendant who will become their child.
2. It could restore the balance of life.
Reproductive cloning also gives scientists the ability to bring back species that have been extinct. Because the genetic material would still be available from the animal remains, a direct living duplicate could be created that could then be studied while bringing back a natural balance to a habitat.
3. It provides a method of being able to adapt to tragedy.
Many children are lost every day due to tragic circumstances. The process of reproductive cloning would allow parents who have lost their child to have a genetic duplicate created so that they can deal with their grief in a way that allows them to be able to have another child that is similar.
The Cons of Reproductive Cloning
1. It increases the chances of medical malpractice.
When looking at the entire process of reproductive cloning, the process of removing undesirable traits from the developing embryo also becomes a possibility. If a genetic disorder is missed or a mutation during embryo development occurs, then medical malpractice claims could be generated in greater numbers.
2. It would create a lack of diversity within the human race.
Because the reproductive cloning process involves the direct duplication of exact cells, the practice would limit the amount of diversity and variation within the human race. Not only could this prevent humanity from being able to adapt to changing circumstances – like the Spanish flu – it could also cause everyone to look the same.
3. It may enhance the aging process.
Although the cells being created are new cells, reproductive cloning also takes its base information from existing adult cells. There is a very real possibility that these adult cells have a certain age imprinted on them and this could result in an enhancement of the aging process or new genetic diseases forming.
Reproductive cloning certainly has some pros and cons to it which must be weighed as science progresses. Is it ethical to pursue such a line of science? Or is reproduction better left to natural selection? By weighing the benefits and risks, we can move forward together in the best possible way.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.