Misconceptions (and FAQ) concerning cloning
Here are the misconceptions we can think of. Some of them are actually quite silly, but people do think like that, so please read on and have fun.
Misconception 1: Cloning can reawaken the dead
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Well, a dead person is -- dead. There're no way to reawaken them (with the present technology. Maybe we could do it in the future, I can't tell). Even if we could produce a being with identical genes as the original, they are not the same. Also, in order to use the cloning by nuclear transfer technique (this is the only technique which can clone from adult tissues), we have to use living cells, and to fuse it with an oocyte. We cannot clone from mere DNA.
Misconception 2: A clone has the same mind as the original person
Somebody thinks that a clone would have the same personality and the same thinking with the one who provided the genes. This is simply not true. The personality and thinking of a person depends on his/her experiences. It is impossible to ensure that EVERYTHING the clone experienced is the same as the DNA donor. Therefore, the clone's thinking depends on what happened to him/her, and has no relationship with the DNA donor at all. Although genes and DNA can give some characteristics and personality and perhaps basic tendencies for a person to a certain extent, environmental factors play a much bigger role in creating who the person is and will be, and the personality, intelligence, thoughts and feelings. Every person is unique.
Misconception 3: A clone is a soulless being
There is an argument for why we shouldn't clone. It says "A clone is actually a soulless being" This is a serious misconception. As we've seen before, there are clones in the nature, and twins are actually clones of each other (Tweens are formed when the embryo breks into 2 embryos in the womb of the mother). If we say a clone has no soul, how about the twins? Do we imply that twins have no soul? and do we mean that there are soulless beings among us?
Misconception 4: It is completely safe to clone
No. Cloning is not exactly safe. As mentioned before, the success rate of cloning is low. Take the experiment that produced Dolly as an example, Dolly is the one successful embryo out of the original 277. Also, a clone may suffer from many defects. It is observed that the cloned animals tend to be delivered later than their sexually produced equals. The clone may suffer from a lot of diseases by late delivery.
Misconception 5: We can use a unconscious clone to provide spare organs
This depends on our technique. If our technique is good enough and can clone a single organ, it's OK, but if we're going to clone a unconscious clone, how can we tell if it's really unconscious? It's true that the organs of a clone can co-ordinate completely with our body immune system, but maybe it knows full well what's happening, but could not tell us? It would be inhumane to do so, and if we get the organs from the clone, it will die? Are we killing a human being, then? (Also see Ethical Problems)
Misconception 6: Cloning is unnatural
As we've mentioned, cloning occurs in nature. Bamboos, bacteria, amoebas, and twins are actually clones. Artificial cloning is only a very small part of the overall clone population, so cloning is a quite natural thing.
Misconception 7: If you cloned yourself, your clone will be at the same age as you
if you cloned yourself at a certain age, then your clone would be that many
years younger than you, probably a generation younger.
Alright, that's all we can think of. These may sound funny, but some people really think like that. Are you one of them? If you were and still are thinking that way, you may have to consider reading all these over again...
organs without the rest of the body be grown using cloning?
but no one knows how yet. The birth
of Dolly shows that we can reprogram adult cells so that it develops from the
beginning again. With this new
found flexibility, maybe one day scientists can overcome the technical problems
(which will be huge!) and reprogram tissue cells so that they grow into certain
tissues or organs instead of whole organisms.