Many of mans wishes have turned into discoveries. Human beings wished to fly like a bird and thus came the invention of airplanes. People have always had fantasies about their duplicate or their other selves and thus came the recent phenomenon of cloning.
It initially started with plant crafts and then progressed to producing copies of micro organism. Then in the 1970s the idea of human cloning came into existence. A Scottish scientist produced the sheep’ Dolly’ in 1997. Dolly was the first mammal to have been cloned from an adult cell. It showed the possibility that the genetic material of an adult cell could be used to generate an entire new organism (Marie, n.p).
In biological terms cloning can be referred to the production of an exact genetic copy of the original. This could be a plant, an animal or even a human being. Cloning has different types and can be done via different methods for e.g. DNA cloning, reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning etc (Marie, n.p).
Therapeutic cloning or research cloning is the transfer of nucleus from the somatic cells of an individual this results in the production of an embryo and is particularly useful in the research of stem cells. The stem cells are a kind of cells from which different kinds of cells like the epidermal cells, the nerve cells or the muscle cells can be produced. They can be used to generate any kind of specialized cell of a human body (Australian Academy of Science, 3 & 4; Medicine net, n.p).
Many diseases like the heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease can be cured with the replacement of these sick cells. Skin is a human organ which is replaced in burns victim by in vitro production of healthy skin cells. This provides compatible skin grafts. The approach is to provide genetically identical cells to the patient’s tissue by cloning them.
This research paper will evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic cloning in the treatment of thyroid disease. First, a description of the thyroid disease is given and the various treatments that are available emphasizing on the therapeutic treatment. The argument will come after this followed by the conclusion.
The thyroid is small gland which manufactures the hormones that are responsible for thee growth and metabolism. It utilizes iodine which combines with tyrosine, which is an important amino acid, resulting in the formation of hormones.
The malfunctioning of this gland can result in over or under production of the hormones. This eventually causes either the hypothyroidism i.e. less amount of hormones or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism causes excessive weight loss insomnia Iodine transfer takes place in the apical plasma membrane .Iodine is converted into iodides by active transport by active transport process. The iodide transporter is produced by a gene called pendrin gene, thyroperoxidase and H2O2 generating system. The synthesis of thyroid hormones is limited by H2O2. Hydrogen Peroxides’ generation in Leukocytes and thyroid have a similar role. It has been found that the polypeptide chain displays 83% sequence similarity. Both the genes are linked on chromosome 15q15.3 (Hennemann, n.p).
Dolly’s birth had raised many ethical questions but there are no doubts about the potential and beneficial applications of therapeutic cloning. The stem cells produced in the process can be transformed in to any kind of body tissue. These stem cells can be produced in Petri dishes. It can be used to produce a cardiac muscle cell which can be administered to a heart patient to take care of his malfunctioning heart 3 (Hennemann, n.p).
The cloning process, which is actually the organification of iodide and thyroid homogenesis makes use of ThOX proteins and throperoxidase. The successful cloning of human hydrogen peroxide generating system opens new vistas in physiopathology and diagnosis of thyroid disease.
Below are some important elements to be remembered (Ontario Consultants on religious tolerance, n.p).
The main seed cell which will be used in the therapeutic cloning is just like a human life; it contains human DNA. This can come from either extraction or sometimes even scrapping of the inner side of the mouth
The problematic area or the malfunctioning part of the human body, such as in this case the thyroid gland is generated from the main seed cell.
The main seed cell can never be created on its own. It contains the human DNA and is the most important and basic element. This will later be used for the cure of the thyroid.
Sometimes the cloning experiment is an unsuccessful one. There are many hurdles which the person doing the actual cloning should avoid, or failure of the whole the experiment will be un avoidable.
The stem cells which will later cure the thyroid disease through therapeutic cloning should be isolated and stored in a laboratory. The stem cells can die if not kept under specific conditions.
Human body consists of 220 different types of cell. Therefore converting the previously stored stem cells in to specific tissue cells is a complex and difficult method that requires a lot of precaution and care.
These tissues will be transplanted into patients with thyroid. However it should be taken care that these tissues have been proven previously. This means that the stem cells forming these tissues have to be checked if they produce the desired result.
There are certain problems of therapeutic cloning (Ontario Consultants on religious tolerance, n.p).
· Developing cure: Adult stem cells have limitations whereas embryonic stem cells are more flexible. The problem is how to procure these embryonic stem cells and this is the area where the ethical question crops up.
· Stability of stem cell: Therapeutic cloning of curing thyroid disease is still in its early stages. Sometimes the entire experiment fails because the human body rejects the tissue which was injected as it is sometimes mutated. Sometimes it also produces tumors. So, in order to have good therapeutic cloning results these problems have to be overcome.
If we are able to overcome these hurdles, people will be able to bring light into the life of thousands of diseased people. There are over fifty diseases which can be cured via this method. These include diabetes, blindness, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, AIDS, Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, stroke, lymphoma, infertility and cancer.
Australian Academy of Science (1999). Therapeutic Cloning for Tissue Repair; Report from a Forum held on 16 September 1999. Retrieved February 15 from: http://www.science.org.au/events/clone2.pdf
Ontario Consultants on religious tolerance (n.d). Therapeutic cloning: How it is done; possible benefits. Retrieved February 15 from: http://www.religioustolerance.org/clo_ther.htm
Medicine net (2001). Definition of Therapeutic cloning. Retrieved February 15 from: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18428
Hennemann, Georg. (2005). Cellular Uptake of Thyroid Hormones. Retrieved February 15 from: http://www.thyroidmanager.org/Chapter3/3b-frame.htm
Marie A. Di Berardino, Ph.D. Cloning: Past, Present, and the Exciting Future. . Retrieved February 15 from: http://opa.faseb.org/pdf/cloning.pdf