What Are the Risks of Cloning?

Dangers associated with cloning include a chance of developmental issues arising later in life, a low success rate, which necessitates time-consuming and cost-intensive repeat cloning attempts, gene abnormalities and differences in chromosome lengths and patterns. Cloning occurs in many living organisms; some cloned species develop normally while others show abnormalities at birth or later in life.

Cloning takes place in several different ways. Some cloning methods present greater risk of failure or harm than others. Nuclear transfers in somatic cells, for instance, have a relatively high failure rate. This type of cloning has a 30 percent success rate. That number translates to 30 successful clones out of 1,000 tries. Lack of compatibility between nuclei and host eggs account for some failures, while improper nuclei development and lack of successful pregnancy and fertilization account for other failures. Some cloned embryos develop larger organs and body sizes than their non-cloned peers. This physiological abnormality presents problems for cloned organisms, including breathing difficulties and circulatory disorders.

Cloned individuals also require artificial reprogramming of genes for proper growth and development. Achieving that reprogramming proves difficult for scientists and increases risk of gene abnormalities. Telometric differences, or chromosomal differences, or affect the lifespan of cloned creatures. Cloned organisms have shorter telomeres at birth, making their chromosomes age more rapidly than their biological peers, while others contain cells with youthful properties, helping them outlive biological cousins.