This Is the Absolute Worst and Best Result of Human Cloning (Plus, How Much It Would Cost)
Thanks to Barbra Streisand’s recent reveal, the public’s interest in cloning has spiked. But how exactly does human cloning work? What happens if we start duplicating people?
Here are the best and worst results that could arise if human cloning becomes the norm — and how much this crazy process could cost.
Pro: Solution for infertility
HealthResearchFunding.org points out that human cloning could help those who want to reproduce, but are unable to. Plus, it could serve as an alternative to current fertility treatments, which can be painful. The site notes that although “infertility treatments today are somewhat successful, imagine being able to take cloned cells to create a younger twin of a mother or father?”
Next: On the other hand…
Con: Uptick in aging process
HRF also notes that human cloning comes with a sped-up aging process. “Because an older cell is often being used to create a human clone,” the site cautions, “there is the possibility that this imprinted age could be placed on the growing embryo.” And premature aging can, sadly, be a step towards premature death.
Next: The effect on transplant lists.
Pro: Organ replacement
Organ donation in itself comes with ups and downs, particularly when it comes to long wait lists while searching for a suitable donor. But human cloning can help speed up that process. “Cloning body parts can serve as a lifesaver,” BiologyWise says.”If vital organs of the human body can be cloned, they can serve as backups.”
Next: On the flip side…
Con: Malpractice risk
All forms of medicine have some level of malpractice risk. And for something as new — and as experimental — as human cloning, that risk is even higher. “While cloning allows man to tamper with genes in human beings, it also makes deliberate reproduction of undesirable traits a possibility,” BiologyWise summarizes.
Next: The effect on treatments for diseases.
Pro: Help in genetic research
One of the biggest positives when it comes to cloning human cells is that it can help doctors and researchers work towards better understanding certain diseases, and potentially finding better treatment options. The Guardian points out that cloned tissue can potentially help individuals suffering from diabetes, heart attacks, Parkinson’s, and more.
Next: That being said…
Con: Loss of genetic diversity
Perhaps the biggest argument against human cloning lies in how much it affects individual authenticity and the unique web that genetics can weave. “In lessening genetic diversity, we weaken our ability of adaptation,” BiologyWise points out — something that could make human ability to fight off sickness and other ailments much more difficult.
Next: Last but not least, the price tag.
Whether human cloning is a good or bad thing, the entire process could still cost a pretty penny. Forbes reports that the cost for harvesting human eggs for the cloning process could be upwards of $2 million. Further breakdown shows that treating just one patient “could conceivably soar above $100,000.”
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