The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Cloning

Science stumbles with glow-in-the-dark pets

For those of you who are madly in love with your cat, dog, hamster, rabbit or other domestic animal, then the idea of their passing can be devastating. It is like that for many, but never fear – the secret location to the fountain of youth may have been uncovered, at least for animals. Yes, you may be able to save you pet’s genetic life.

Recently, scientists at Texas A&M University cloned a cat named Cc and the next batch of clones may soon be on the way. The cat was created by extracting cells from another cat (Rainbow) and fusing them with empty unfertilized cat eggs. The eggs were then implanted into the surrogate mother and after numerous attempts using this process, CC – a perfect clone of Rainbow – materialized. Now a recent issue of USA Today has mentioned that it may soon be possible for the average American (who is rich enough to pay for the procedure) to send a DNA sample of his or her pet to scientists to be cloned.

Research is all well and good, but what are the ethical issues surrounding this kind of genetic tinkering? What will cloning pets do to the belief of life after death? Will this bring human cloning closer to reality? Should only those who are rich enough to afford this kind of procedure be allowed to have access to it?

Some believe that this research is extraneous and will only lead to future problems. Others definitely see the benefits of cloning animals. One researcher sees this as a way to drive up numbers of endangered species by cloning. Others look to make genetically enhanced animals that lack certain disadvantageous genes. For instance, one company – Transgenic Pets – is looking to make an allergen-free cat, as well as pets with genes for other health problems like hip malfunctions. Of course, who’s to say someone won’t create a dog targeted toward aggression as some sort of crime fighting machine? There may be no limit to this genetic engineering. (They have already engineered a glow-in-the-dark rabbit – definitely not fit for survival in the wild, but good for a midnight Easter egg hunt.)

We understand that there are numerous advantages to this research when implemented correctly, but at what expense? Science continues to move onward and upward, and we encourage continual progress and development, but when we begin to approach the line between moral and unmoral, or ethical and unethical, science should pause a second to consider all the consequences before opening up a Pandora’s Box.

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