TALK ABOUT The 6th Day and Cloud Atlas and Orphan Black
So what exactly is cloning? According to the natural human genome research institute on they define cloning as “a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity”, identitcal copies of a living organisms. There’s reproductive cloning , which is copies of whole animals, therapuetic cloning is making little parts of people liver, kidneys, ears, to great organs to replace damaged tissues.
Lab based cloning, artificial cloning, it seems like a complicated process but its not. In 1928 Spieman discovered what is called nuclear transfer. the nucleaus of a cell, the nucleus from an early embryonic cell directs the complete growth of an organism. In embryos there’s only so many nuclei, and when you’re in an egg you’ve only got one. So he found out with a fertilized salamander egg, he could move the nucleus and move it around inside of the egg. That meant if you could move it around, maybe you could take it out and swap in a different one. In 1952 they did that for the first time, robert Briggs and Thomas King transferred the nucleus from an early tadpole embryo into a frog egg that had its nucleus removed. So they took the nucleus out of a frog egg, now an emopty egg, then took the nucleus from an early tadpole embryo and put it into the empty eegg and the egg grew into a tadpole. And that proved 3 diffeent things, first that nuclear transfer was a viable clioning techniwque, two the nucleus directs its groth asnd development, and 3 its better to clione earlier than later. in 1958 nuclear transfer from a differentiated cell was first done, where John Girden transplaneted the nucleus of a tadpole intestinal cell, they put it into an empty frog egg, called innucleated, and they created tadpoles that were genetically identical to the intestinal doner. This is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer and it works, it proves that nuclei from somatic cells from a fully developed animal , just a regular cell, they could take any nucleus pop it into an egg and clone something. It proved cells retain all genetic material even as they divived and fdifferentiate, they have all the blueprints for the whole thing. In 1975 the first mammelian embryo was created by nuclear transfer, mammaelian eggs were harder to manipulate. But J Derek Bromhol found a way to manipulate the nucleus from a rabbit embryo into an ennucleated rabbit egg via somatic transfer, a few days later an advanced embryo developed. In 1996 nuclear transfer was created using lab cells, using donor nuclei from a different source, they cultured sheep cells, they kept the cells alive in a lab, then they grew an embryo clone essentially. This is crazy, but it’s hard enough to get from one cell right tot he other cell while keeping those things alive in a lab. It might be possible they think now to use modified cells to create transgenic animals. You can just take the nucleus, add some genes from some other animal using CRISPR and you mix genes from one animal to another, you create a transgenic animal, like a cow that produces insulin for diabetics in their milk. That same year those same people created a lambn by transferring the nucleus of an adult sheep udder cell into an enucleated egg, and after 177 tries, they produced an embryo that was carried to term and out popped dolly the sheep.
What are people gonna do with it? What can we use theis for? There are a couple maon reasons we want to clone, one is medicine, noteably, people have been usoing cloning to create new human stem cells. Stem cells have been put forth as a new exciting cure for all sorts of stuff. They’re essentially like the seeds of all cells, they are undifferentiated biological cells, they can grow into whatever they’re programmed to become. You can make a liver , skin, heart, and it won’t get rejected because they’re your cells. The possibiliies are limitless, they can be used to repair damaged tissues, to regrow new lungs, hearts, livers, they can also be used to treat diabetes, parkinsons, this is called Therapeutic cloning, or somatic cell nucelar transfer. An unfertilized egg is isolated and the nucleus is removed like everything else. Once you’ve removed the nucleus what you’re doing is removing the control center of the cell but also the genetic material that tells the cell what it can be, you replace that nucleus with maybe a skin cell nucleus, insert it itnto an egg, and you’re essentially putting the genetic material from yourself into the egg. The egg is then stimulated, it divides, and if its inserted into a womb it could potentially develop, but insted of letting it develop into an embryo, scientists encourage it to split, divide and divided, then it creates stem cells. Those cells in nature would go on to develop a human. You can add them to the body to repair tissues and cure diseases, it has nothing to do with making a baby, it’s done because your body can use these stem cells naturally, or for organs. Your body is also built to be warry of foreign intruders, so if you put someone else’s stem cells inside your body, there’s a good chance your immune system would attack them and reject the cells, same with transplants. But if you grew a heart with your own genetic material it’d work just fine and your body won’t attack it. Therapeutic cloning is actually banned in some countries and is highly regulated all around the world, because you’re essentially creating a pre-embryo as a cell supply for humans. Reprodcutive ckoning in humans means you’d have to put the embryo into a womb, it’s banned in most countries. But it’s not technically illegal in the united states because no laws have been passed saying you can’t do that, however, there are laws passed saying you can’t fund things that do that. But if someone funded it privately they can do it. TIt’s an expensive process and it doesn’t always work. There are also some doing research on clonin g human cells just to grow new organs from them. That cloning could also be used to clone animals that have been geneticallty modified so they can be transplanted into humans, for example you could use a pig to grow a liver that could be transplanted into a human. There’s another use for clonin g where farmers and ranchers would use reproductive cloning on their livestock, things like artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, and artificial means of mabnageing the reproductive processes of animals we use on farms, but some are clonin g their best animnals, their biggest beef cows, their genetic superanimals, and breeders take the best traits from the best male and female and create the best possible offspring. If you can do it on the genetic level you can just take the superior genes and put them in tere to make a dtrong animal. This is also something called somatic cell nuclear transferred, it’s been used to increase the quality of herds, they clone animals that have higher yields. What we do have is cloned pets, companies have already sprung up which clone your pet for you. The first pet, a cat named little nicki was cloned in 2004, it cost 50,000 dollars, but some people have spent over 100,000.
Somatic cell nucelar transfer is when the nucleus of an adult cell is placed into an unfertilized egg that’s had its own nucelus removed, then an electric shock is applied, the egg divides and starts forming these embryonic stem cells. that is the dolly the sheep method. Now scientists can easily reproduce a specific animal over and over and over, and as the proceedure gets cheaper it can be used in livestock, so a specific line of cow can be reproduced for it’s beef quality or it’s mil yield. Just a couple monts ago scientists created the first cloned uman embryo, the idea being that stem cells from that embryo can be used to make people personalized therapy from their own DNA.
But Cloning is not as precise as we’d like it to be, so far every clone has a tiny genetic abnormailty, and if you start cloning clones, those problems start adding up and getting bigger, you wind up not being able to make more than 1 generation of clones. But a new technique at the reichen center for developmental biology in Kobe Japan just got closer to solving that proble. They were able to clone 26 successive generations of mice from a single original. That’s 598 clones of clones of clones. The way clones are usually made is by a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, where they take the nucleus of an cell from the donor animal except a reproductive cell and they put it inside an egg that’s had its own nuceues removed. But something happens during that process that causes these weird copy problems, so what the team at Riken did was ad a chemical called Histone Deacetylase inhibitor. Histone Deacetylase is an enzyme that causes DNA to wrap more tightly and by inhibiting it, all those genetic problems were minimized so much that they were able to make clones of clones of clones, 25 copies deep before everything destabilized. New clones had normal lifespans and were even able to reproduce. The team envisions this for increasing the number of quality livestyle, find the best cow and clone it forever. Here’s a fun thought, replace every time i said cow with the word human and think about how creepy the future’s gonna be one day.
The questions raised by the revolution in biotechnology go much further than immortality. Because the prospect of healthier and longer lives is only the first stage of our mastery of life. In the next stage we won’t just control our own biology, but that of future generations. We’ll even begin to tamper with human evolution itself. IN 1996 the arrival of the first clone mammal dolly the sheep sent shockwaves around the world. The pope implied such experiments were dangerous. Argentina and Italy have now banned cloning, as have many other countries. Throughout human history, we’ve been tampering with evolutioon, cultivating new strains of crops, or breeding new varieties of farm animals, but now we can manipulate the genes of animals in human history. For the first time in human histroy, we are literally able to play god, but the question is how far will we go. We’ve cloned mice, cats, sheep, cattle, horses, we even have clones of clones. Most nations will ban human cloning, but how do you stop an underground black market laboratory from offering cloning to rich people who want to give their money to themselves as children and start all over again. I mean you can’t completely stop that, so I think we’re just gonna have to get used to the fact that a tiny fraction of the human race will be clones.
Scientists just recently cloned a human embryo. The most effective stem cells are embryonic and Harvesting stem cells from embryos is bogged down in lehgal and ethcial debate. A team of biologists found a way around that. A team from Orgeon health and science university made an embryonic clone of a human from a person’s skin cells and donated eggs. Cloned human embryo, they then harvested the stem cells. Then they harvested working stem cells from that embryo, the technique they used was so atic cell nuclear transfer, basically the nucleus of a mature cell is put into a human egg that’s had its own nucleus taken out. Then they stimulate the egg and it starts to divide and grow. When it hits 100 cells, called the blastocyst stage, it has a bunch of embryonic stem cells in it that scineitsts can harvest. The stimulating is the hard part, coaxing an embryo to grow easily consistently and without complkications has been the major roadblock holding SENT back. the cells they harvested from the embryos were able to be turned into everything they tried to recreate, including beating heart cells.
SOUTH KOREAN CLONING COMPANY CAN GIVE YOU YOUR DEAD DOG BACK
Sooam Biotech Research Foundation has cloned over 800 dogs since 2006, offering the service to bring your dead dog back for $100,000. Apart from their popular dog cloning service, they also clone cattle and pigs for medical research and breed preservation.
The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation can reincarnate your dead dog, a service that would delight pet lovers—for $100,000.
“These people have very a strong bond with their pets… and cloning provides a psychological alternative to the traditional method of just letting the pet go and keeping their memory,” said Sooam researcher and spokesman Wang Jae-Woong.
They specialize in cloning cattle and pigs for medical research and breed preservation as well, particularly developing genetically-engineered animals for use as disease models. But it is their dog cloning service that brings in the most customers: they’ve cloned almost 800 dogs since 2006, with their client base including princes, celebrities, and billionaires, as well as owners and agencies who want to replicate highly skilled sniffer and rescue dogs.
The process starts with putting your dead dog in the fridge—not the freezer, just the fridge. Oh, and don’t forget to wrap it in wet towels too.
In about five days of delivery to the facility, a mature cell from the dog can be successfully harvested, and copied; the DNA is then fused with a donor egg that has been stripped of its original genetic material. The embryo from this process is then implanted in a surrogate mother dog. Two months later, your dead best friend back to being a puppy.
Sooam’s most publicized project was its creation of five clones of Trakr, a rescue dog that found the last survivor of the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. It also conducted collaborations with other cloning facilities, such as BioArts International, which has since opted out of the dog cloning market.
Now the company is partnering with others in an ambitious plan to clone a mammoth from frozen remains found in Siberia.
While cloning in itself is already a hotbed of debate, Sooam’s founder Hwang Woo-Suk has a notorious past, further bringing the company’s moral and ethical foundations to question.
In 2004 and 2005, he published a claim stating he has successfully derived stem cell lines from cloned human embryos. This was later on found out to be a hoax. The scandal revealed numerous ethical violations.
In 2009, he was served a two-year suspended prison sentence for embezzlement and bioethical violations.
“I think the only way to win the public’s trust back is making more genuine scientific breakthroughs,” Hwang said.
Head researcher Jeong Yeon-Woo says Sooam’s dog cloning service remains as the company’s most fulfilling facet.
“They look like they found a child that had been missing,” Jeong said. “The moment of pure joy like that … makes me realize again why I’m doing this.”
CAN CHINESE SCIENTISTS CLONE HUMANS?
CHINA’S CLONING INDUSTRY
The Boyalife Group, responsible for building the world’s largest cloning factory, says that it already has the technology needed for human replication, and that it is only holding back due to public perception.
The group is currently building the massive plant along the port of Tianjin, China, which is expected to begin production within the coming months. Output is aimed at one million cows cloned every year by the year 2020.
But according to chief executive Xu Xiaochun, the group’s activities won’t stop at just cloning cattle. While the factory intends to produce thoroughbred racehorses and dogs, it is also working with a South Korean partner along with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in improving their primate cloning capacity.
From there, it’s not hard to imagine the next step in cloning technology: humans. “The technology is already there,” says Xu. “If this is allowed, I don’t think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology.”
THE FUTURE OF BIODIVERSITY
Xu maintains that they are not currently engaged in human cloning activities. This is largely due to fear of adverse public reaction. But Xu points out that social values are subject to change, particularly in terms of people having more a choice in reproduction.
“Unfortunately, currently, the only way to have a child is to have it be half its mum, half its dad,” said Xu. “You either have fifty-fifty, or you have a choice of having the genetics 100 percent from Daddy or 100 percent from Mummy. This is only a choice.”
Xu presents cloning as a safeguard of biodiversity with the Tianjin facility to house a gene bank that will be able to hold up to five million samples in liquid nitrogen. This will serve as a catalogue of endangered species in hopes of regenerating them in the future.
To some, he’s frankenstein. To others, he’s god. Over the past 8 years working in secret he’s been leading a team into medicine’s most controversial terrain. His aim is to clone a human being by injecting the unique DNA of an individual into a woman’s egg to give birth to a human replica. His ambition has brought him to mainstream science and ethics. Many children would be born mutated. This man’s quest has taken him to far flung and dangerous corners of the world. This man’s journey of triumph and disaster. What this man is doing could change the very process of creation itself.
The origin of his cloning ambition goes back to july 21 1978, when the first so called test tube baby was born in Oldham England. The technique was IVF or in-vitro fertilization. It was this technique Zavos would use to try and clone a human being. BUT The difference, instead of the baby being produced by the cpmbination of 2 sets of DNA one male the other female, a cloned baby would be produced from the single cell of one human being with it’s unique DNA signature. It would be a huge challend, but Zavos agreed to take it on. The news of zavos’s ambition brought uproad, experiments with animals showed he wa trying to cross a highly dangerous fronteir in medicine. The first ever clone was a sheep named dolly born 1996 in Ediburgh England,. But in animal cloning, success rates proved low, it took 270 attempts to produce Dolly, and there were many abnormality, But recent improvements have brought it down to a dozen or so attemps. On march 14 2003, Zavos began the first ever attempt to clone a human being, at this point he believed the most suitable cells for cloning are the granulosa cell. He begins by removing the nucleus which contains the DNA signature from the woman’s egg, a process called Enucleation. What is left is basically an empty receptacle, no DNA remains in the empty egg. Then they inject a granulosa cell with it’s unique DNA signature inside the empty egg. The next stage was to put it in an electric fusion chamber so the egg can fuse twith the cell, it will fool the egg cell into thinking a male sperm is impregnating it. The electric charge will imitate the process of the male sperm entering the female egg. A woman’s DNA can be injected into her own egg and raise her own clone. To to avoid a deformed baby, they will use an investigative technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PDG, a single cell will be taken from the embryo blastocyst before it’s implanted into the womb and examined by Genetic screening, used in hospitals throughout the world to check embryos resulting from both natural conception and IVF. But it won’t screen for every possible genetic defect.
But what if we could go a step futher, instead of replacing body parts, somehow replace our cells. Transfer consciusness from our body to our clones, creating a real life Frankenstein, it may be closer than we think.
Scientists in 1996 in secret at the Rosalind institue in Edinburgh Scottland, Scientist Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell cloned a lamb from the cell of an adult sheep, something scientsists thought impossible. To make a clone, they take an egg and remove all the genetic material, then a cell nucleus is taken from the sheep they were trying to clone and insert it into that hollowedoutegg. If it succeeds the cell that’s created would be an exact dubplicate of the original. The team of scientists tried 277 times, finally, on the 278th attemopt, success, a cloned embryo. The cloned zygot is implanted into the surrgogate mother and the birth heard around the world takes plaee. Dolly is born, making her the first mammal to be cloned. This single breakthrough now redefines life and immortality, can we live on through our clones? Dolly lives for 6 years and births 6 lambs before dying, she also gives to heated controversy and debate, causing many to wonder, will humans be next? Cloning is a difficult technology to make work well. There are genuine health risks with cloning, cloned mammals often turn out to have sall kinds of subtle defects that we’re not expecting. They are not necessarily healthy replicas of the animals from which they were cloned. In the world of biotech, there’s BD and AD. Before Doly and after Dolly. Life can spring anew from the aged and withered. So is cloning our fountain of youth? Our magical elixir to granting immortality? Imagine the implications of this technology. even the dead can be raised from the grave, copies of celebrities, world leaders, and brilliant inventors. But to live forever in the purest sense, we must find a way to make our present bodies invulnerable to disease and the process of aging.
Human cloning is hard and it’s dangerous. Attempts at animal cloning already produce many dead, deformed, and diseased animals, not to mention lots of embryos and fetuses that are lost. Cloning pioneer doctor James Robl said that in addition to those dangers and low survival of offspring you’d need a huge number of donor eggs and women willing to be surrogate mothers, which makes human cloning a really big problem. In 2009 a greek Biologist named Panayiotis Zavos claimed to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into 4 women. Hewas either lying or the transfer failed, but it did not go well in the biology community.
SCIENTISTS IN CHINA ATTEMPT TO EDIT HUMAN EMBRYO
A research group in China has attempted to genetically edit human embryos to be resistant to HIV. The second group within a year to have announced such research, it shows proof of concept that the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR/Cas 9 can be used to modify human embryos. There are, however, a multitude of scientific and ethical issues to iron out before the widespread editing of human embryos could ever take place.
The team, from the Guangzhou Medical University in China, used CRISPR/Cas 9 to genetically modify a specific gene that codes for a protein found on the surface of cells. This protein, CCR5, is what the Human Immunodeficiency Virus recognizes and uses to latch on to their host cell. People who naturally carry a mutation in their CCR5 gene are immune to HIV, and so the team was aiming to artificially modify the gene in embryos to get the same result. The research is published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.
This is the second time that a research group from China has published their research on editing human embryos. The first happened about a year ago, when scientists reported their attempts to remove a gene that causes a dangerous blood disorder. This new study confirms many of the obstacles faced by the original, highlighting the difficulties that are present in editing the human embryo.
In the latest research, the team started with over 200 embryos, fertilized in vitro, and donated from a fertility clinic. None of the embryos were viable, and all would have been destroyed anyway if the researchers had not used them for the experiment. Out of these, 26 were targeted for modification, but genetic analysis showed that only four of the embryos showed successful alterations to their DNA. None of the embryos were allowed to live for longer than three days. These low levels of success are in a similar ballpark to the earlier experiment, and show that despite widespread success in using CRISPR to edit other genomes, using it on human DNA is still in its infancy.
Not only that, but this new experiment also exposed another, potentially more controversial problem, which again was seen in the earlier study. While CRISPR was able to add in the modifications desired, it also can cause random alterations to other sections of DNA. The researchers of the latest study didn’t find any of these changes, but are certain they occurred. “The embryos likely carried off-target mutations undetected by our genotyping, and the off-target effects thus merit further inquiry,” write the researchers.
These issues have meant that some experts are calling for more research to be carried out on non-human primates before other groups start editing human embryos. The last year has seen a scramble to set some limits on human embryo editing around the world, from the U.K. to the U.S. In fact, the authors of the recent study are seemingly in agreement. “We believe that any attempt to generate genetically modified humans through the modification of early embryos needs to be strictly prohibited until we can resolve both ethical and scientific issues,” they write.
But it could be that the flood gates have already opened. According to Nature, who originally found the most recent paper, there are hints and whispers that other groups within China have already been editing human embryos. The fact that this recent study began back in 2014 shows that teams have been working on human embryo editing in secret for quite some time, and Nature predict that more papers will be published from other groups in the coming months.
What if i have one of my clones frozen due to terminal cancer until a cure is found, but in the hundred yeras before he’s thawed out, I go become a dictator and kill six trillion gorillion jews and then shoot myself. When the clone is unfrozen, will he be made to pay the price for my crime?
But what if a person decides to make copies of himself all to operate a giant business emprire with each individual copy training to be an accountent, lawyer, marketing expert and so on. This entity employes no one but themselves as it were. With all thosedifferent life experiences this might fragment, but society might not approve of these clones, but they dont break the law, they work hard, they pay their taxes, and many of them are doing volunteer work. But if a big election comes up and all 1 million vote similarly. What do you do? One of them might go out and comit a crime, or a big wave of them. Which one do you arrest with the D N A evidence?