Cloning an Instinct Species in Jurassic Park
Roger Lee Propes PHI-240 Katherine Allison, Professor April 6, 2012 Cloning an Instinct Species in “Jurassic Park” When we hear about cloning in the media, they are usually referring to reproductive cloning, human cloning in particular, and it’s scientific and ethical implications. In Jurassic Park, John Hammand, who is a rich entrepreneur, hires a group of scientists to clone dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period. The ethical dilemma presented in Jurassic Park is whether we should use our knowledge of cloning to revive an extinct species that ceased to exist through natural processes.
I believe John Hammand used ethical relativism (Van Camp, Olen, and Barry page 4) because he coordinated this project based on moral truths that were true to him. However, several of the experts he hired to sponsor the park disagreed with the ethical judgments he made while developing the park. I will briefly describe two types of cloning that were combined to successfully engineer the dinosaurs in the movie, and give an example of cloning that has been successful. Then I will give reasons why it is unethical to resurrect species that became instinct through natural processes.
The words recombinant DNA technology, DNA cloning, molecular cloning, and gene cloning all refer to the same process: the transfer of a DNA fragment or interest from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element such as a bacterial plasmid. The DNA of interest can then be developed in a foreign host cell. This technology has been around since the 1970’s, and it has become a common practice in molecular biology labs today. “In 1977 scientists at the Asilomar Conference proposed sweeping regulation on so-called recombinant DNA, technologies which recombine DNA from different species in the test tube” (biology. enyon. edu). Their concerns were by combining DNA of different species disastrous monsters would result. Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal. The best and most publicized example of this is the sheep named Dolly. She was the first mammal to be cloned from adult DNA. “Ian Wilmut, the scientist whose team at Scotland’s Roslin Institute cloned Dolly who was born July 5, 1996, and euthanized in 2003 because of lung disease” (usatoday. om). This successful clone was produced 3 years after the film was produced. “Dolly, or any other animal created using nuclear transfer technology, is not truly an identical clone of the donor animal. Only the clone’s chromosomal or nuclear DNA is the same as the donor, some of the clone’s genetic materials come from the mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the enucleated egg” (ornl. gov). In the film, the dinosaurs weren’t exact replicas and had mutations caused by the frog DNA that was used.
In the film, they discovered dinosaur DNA trapped in the amber of a tree and extracted the DNA. They DNA sequence was not complete so they decided to combine frog DNA in an attempt to complete the sequence. The scientists also manipulated the sequence to ensure that all of the cloned specimens would be female thinking it would be the more docile than the male. Even though females tend to have less strength than their male counterparts, they are usually the one left to tend for the offspring. Dr. Malcolm made the statement that, “nature always finds a way”.
There are many species that have proven that reproduction is a possibility in a single sex environment. Some species, such as anemone fishes, are born all male and when they mature change sex and become female. “This is very strange life histories in species whose individuals may change sex at some time in their life. They may change from being males to females, protandry, or females to males, protogyny. ” (marinebiology. org) Dr. Alan Grant and the children find a nest of eggs that has hatched while they were evading the T-Rex, proving nature found a way.
Human beings, in general, are very naive when it comes to the power they actually hold over our world and nature. If we are to consider resurrection instinct species, we should also consider whether they became instinct through natural causes or the human intervention. Also, we should make sure we consider all of the possible mutations that may occur due to the genetic makeup of the DNA used to complete the sequence. Those which became instinct because of being destroy by humans may still be able to survive in the world as it is today.
In addition, we should enter the cloning process with the knowledge that nature will eventually find a way and begin to sustain without future interference of human beings. Those which became instinct through natural causes shouldn’t be revived because the world isn’t suitable for their survival, and reviving these species could cause catastrophic changes in the environment, which is evident in the movie “Jurassic Park”. Works Cited Buchheim, Jason. A Quick Course in Ichthyology. n. d. <www. marinebiology. org>. Department, Biology.
KAP Recombinant DNA Technology. n. d. <www. biology. kenyon. edu>. Energy, US Department of. Human Genome Project Information. 11 May 2009. 15 03 2012 <www. ornl. gov/hgmis>. Julie C. Van Camp, Jeffrey Olen, and Vincent Barry. Applying Ethics: A Text with Readings. Ed. Ian Lague. Tenth Edition. Boston: Clark Baxter, 2011. Jurassic Park. By Michael Crichton. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum Sam Neil. 1993. Wise, Elizabeth. USA Today. 4 July 2006. 15 March 2012 <www. usatoday. com/tech/science/genetics>.