Cloning of Frogs, Mice, and Other Animals

Cloning of Frogs, Mice, and Other Animals

Robert Gilmore McKinnell
Copyright Date: 1985
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 140
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttt78s
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  • Book Info
    Cloning of Frogs, Mice, and Other Animals
    Book Description:

    Cloning of Frogs, Mice, and Other Animals was first published as Cloning: A Biologist Reports in 1979 and was reissued under the present title in 1985. When cell biologist Robert McKinnell first wrote his layman’s guide to cloning in 1979, no creature higher than a frog had been successfully cloned. In the years since then, scientific advances have made mammalian clones a reality -- cloned mice have been reported from laboratories using two different techniques. In this revised edition of Cloning: A Biologist Reports, McKinnell explains the process of mammalian cloning and discusses its importance as a research tool. The creation of genetically identical animals is enormously helpful in learning about medical problems such as cancer and aging, and in improving breeds of cattle and other domesticated animals. The reality of cloned mammals raises anew the issue of human cloning. McKinnell outlines the procedure as it would apply to humans and explores the ethical considerations involved. He argues that, although the creation of human clones may be technically possible, it is economically and socially impractical, and poses little threat to the world. McKinnell’s aim in this book, as it was in the first edition, is to provide a clear explanation of the cloning procedure with the hope that accurate information will dispel the fear and mystery that surround it.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5532-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    R.G.M.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. 1 Why a Discourse on Cloning? Of E. coli, Quaking Aspens, and Frogs. Humans Too?
    (pp. 3-20)

    No human has been cloned. But the technology for human cloning, at least a limited type of cloning, is here. Science makes rapid advances. A revolution in reproductive biology is now taking place, that provides the technical means for cloning humans. Although no human has yet been cloned, many frogs and salamanders have. So too have carrots and fish. Mice cloning has been reported. Cattle embryos have been fragmented surgically resulting in genetically identical progeny. The birth of babies resulting fromin vitrofertilization witnesses to the efficacy of procedures first developed in animals and now applied to humans. It...

  5. 2 “A Fantastical Experiment”
    (pp. 21-31)

    Fish, frogs, and mice have been produced by nuclear transplantation. With success in such diverse animals, it would seem that there is more than just the technical possibility that humans may some day be cloned. Indeed, we may be on the threshold of human cloning.

    Since the cloning of humans raises enormous ethical and moral issues, and since it fails to heal any known disease, it seems appropriate to ask the question that was asked in a medical journal: “Should we have taken the first step?” (Genetic Engineering: Reprise. Editorial,The Journal of the American Medical Association,220:1356-57, 1972). The...

  6. 3 To Clone a Frog
    (pp. 32-52)

    The historical account of the experiments that led to frog nuclear transplantation explains why cloning was attempted. It does not revealhowcloning was accomplished. An account of the nucleartransplantation procedure, “the how of cloning,” provides insight into the purposes, opportunities, and limitations of the cloning technique.

    Nuclear transplantation refers to the process of moving a nucleus from one cell to another. The transfer of a nucleus would have little biological meaning if it were not from onekindof cytoplasm to anotherkindof cytoplasm. Why was egg cytoplasm chosen as the recipient cytoplasm for inserted nuclei? Why were...

  7. 4 Cancer, Aging, and Other Challenges
    (pp. 53-76)

    The success of nuclear transplantation with frog blastula cells encouraged researchers to do similar experiments with older, more specialized nuclei. Adults are composed of many kinds of specialized (differentiated) cells. If, as some believe, certain kinds of cancer result from the improper functioning of the differentiation process, then perhaps some cancer can be viewed as tissue specialized in ways that are harmful to humans. Humans age, and the changes that occur in the cells of older people may be viewed as another kind of nonbeneficial specialization. The cloning procedure has the potential of revealing to what extent cell specialization is...

  8. 5 Cloning Mice, Large Domestic Animals, and Humans
    (pp. 77-100)

    It has been reported that mice and some large domestic animals have been cloned. Humans have not. Because the reproductive biology of humans (and of other eutheria, i.e., mammals that have a well-developed placenta attached to the wall of the uterus) is similar to that of mice and other mammals, it is likely that humans could be cloned. The section on human cloning might be titled “Human cloning: The how to and the why not.” This chapter presents the “how to”; it is basically a report on the capabilities of contemporary mammalian reproductive biology. The chapter concerns science, not opinion....

  9. 6 Epilogue: An Essay on Human Cloning
    (pp. 101-108)

    I believe human cloning is an inappropriate endeavor for biological or medical scientists, primarily for economic and ethical reasons.

    The word that best describes funds available for biomedical research, from both government agencies and private organizations, is “inadequate.” I think it is unlikely that there willeverbe funds available to provide economic support for all potential research projects. Consequently, judgments must be made concerning what studies are to be funded, and priorities must be established so that the limitations imposed by economic considerations do not impede research essential to the welfare of humankind. Is research that might increase the...

  10. References
    (pp. 109-118)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 119-122)
  12. Index
    (pp. 123-127)