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Therapeutic Cloning

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Therapeutic Cloning

Therapeutic cloning is when a cloned embryo is formed by putting a nucleus from the patient’s cell into an egg without a nucleus. The cloned embryo then divides multiple times and forms into a sphere shape called a blastocyst (day 1-5). These embryonic stem cells are now visible and can be developed into any of the bodies 200+ tissue cells (day 5-7). After this stage the embryonic stem cells are removed and grown in a separate Petri dish. As they continue to divide, they create a line of stem cells. In future scientists hope to turn these stem cells, perfectly matched to the patient, into tissues.

There are many benefits that can come from therapeutic cloning. By taking healthy cells from a patient and creating clones they can be transplanted to replace or repair damaged or diseased organs. Treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, motornuerone disease and possible even spinal cord injuries could be treated and possibly even cured. Using these cell lines derived from individual patients mean customised blood, organs and tissues can be used to lift the burden of the disease. Another benefit of therapeutic cloning is that by using diseased cells and cloning them to develop new, more sophisticated drugs.

A couple of major issues have resulted after therapeutic cloning has been proposed. Many argue that by putting a nucleus into an unfertilised egg that an embryo is created. This embryo is then destroyed within a week or two after the cells are extracted.

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