Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clones and cloning

A clone is a cell product or organism that is genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived. Cloning is the process of creating genetically identical individuals.

Did you know that in 2006 the FDA gave its approval to meat which came from cloned animals, with no special labeling required? Or that Dolly, the first successfully cloned animal, was born only after 277 eggs were used to create 29 embryos, only one of which lived? Not good odds. Plus Dolly only lived 7 years and allegedly "had pathologies resembling accelerated aging." However, Ian Wilmut - part of the team who cloned Dolly - claims that her premature death was "unrelated to the deficiencies with the cloning process." To learn more about the risks of cloning click here.


One of the most interesting things I learned about cloning is the idea that it could bring back extinct species like the wooly mammoth and/or save those on the endangered list. However, "many conservation biologists and environmentalists vehemently oppose cloning endangered species - mainly because they think it may deter donations to help preserve natural habitat and wild animal populations." Sadly I have to agree with them.

Bottom line, we know how to clone, but we don't yet know how to do it exactly right, and there is still a question of whether we should. What do you think about cloning?

 

57 comments:

  1. I'm a bit on the fence with cloning. Good for certain things, but sadly not good for others, like what you pointed out.

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  2. I joke that I have clones, but I think it's a really bad idea.

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    1. I think we're not wise enough yet for this technology.

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  3. I'm constantly in awe of what science has accomplished, but there comes a time to leave things alone. It's not wise to mess with Mother Nature.

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    1. Sadly, we already have, imo, and not in a good way.

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  4. That would be interesting to bring about extinct animals, depending what they were. But not sure we're ready for cloning.

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    1. I think it would be great to bring back some extinct mammals - I'm going to pass on T-Rex - but not of it means gobbling up the land because hey, we can bring them back any time we want to right? And I agree. We're not ready for cloning yet.

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  5. In my opinion, man's intelligence has evolved for a reason, as has science. But we must use our evolving knowledge wisely. And seriously, cloning people? We can't handle all the unwanted babies being born on a daily basis now. Like we need more problems.

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    1. I think that's the problem right now, we're still lacking wisdom.

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  6. It just goes to show that man isn't God.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. That doesn't stop him from trying, and often with bad results!

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  7. i don't really know too much about it--but i have to admit, it's pretty fascinating!

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    1. I agree, very interesting!

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  8. Part of me thinks cloning is just creepy. I enjoy it in fiction. In real life, the thought isn't appealing.

    http://www.thebusymomsdaily.com/2013/04/blogging-from-to-z-april-challenge_3.html

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    1. I think it may have it's uses but as stated previously I'm not sure we're wise enough yet to use the technology.

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  9. Oh, I'd like me a wooly mammoth in my backyard, it would save my cats from them nasty sabertoothed tigers lurking around!

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  10. I'm not sure I want a wooly mammoth walking around, Dez! Nor sabertoothed tigers.

    I didn't know Dolly only lived 7 years. Sad.

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  11. I think it's kind of dangerous. I fear also the efforts to save endangered species would be affected as people may think if one specimen stays, they can always clone it. I also fear what powerful people could do for political or economical interests (always in detriment of others.)

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  12. Cloning is a vague term nowadays, as it is used for anything from single genes to whole organisms. Without cloning technology medicine and farming would be a lot worse.

    By the way, the first animal was cloned in 1952. Here is an interesting timeline:
    http://atheism.about.com/library/chronologies/blchron_sci_cloning.htm

    I don't think cloning would work for preserving endangered species (or perpetuating Fluffy) because you would run into even more problems than inbreeding depression.

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    1. I'm not against cloning, per se, I just don't think we're smart enough for the technology yet.

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  13. the whole cloning thing freaks me out!

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    1. Gene splicing freaks me out more.

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  14. Cloning will be a regular way of life soon enough. Trying to fight it is like trying to tell the rain to go away and come back another day. Good luck with that.

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    1. Sadly, you are probably right.

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  15. Like everything, cloning has its pros and cons. Not sure if I'm comfortable eating cloned meat though.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Yeah, after reading what happened to Dolly I have to agree.

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  16. Hello! I recently read an article about how scientists want to bring back extinct creatures with cloning. I think it makes sense for animals that have been extinct by the stupidity of humans (deforestation, poaching, etc.) because they never should've been extinct in the first place. But animals that are gone due to natural selection might mean trouble if we bring those back. Hopefully it won't happen!

    Have you seen the movie Multiplicity? A stressed, overwhelmed man gets cloned to hilarious results!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. I'll have to check that movie out; it sounds like fun :)

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  17. I did not know about Dolly. I am kind of sad to learn her fate and, I admit, a little freaked out by it. If they say cloning was not what caused her problem, then what did?

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    1. Respiratory problems I read. And it is sad she didn't live very long.

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  18. the cloning thing - it gives me nightmares.

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    1. It doesn't give me nightmares - yet!

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  19. Very cool science post! Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog and I enjoyed it. Please visit us at http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ and, if you like what you see, sign up to become a member.

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  20. Let's not bring back the wooly mammoth. I think this is a symptom of our inability to accept mortality, the natural order of things. I'd really rather we didn't do it.

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    1. I won't say we shouldn't but I'm not sure we should either.

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  21. I saw an article on bringing back extinct species. We can't seem to take care of the ones that are endangered now.
    The idea of cloning gives me the creeps- interesting but I don't have enough faith in humanity to use our "powers" for good. Great post :)

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    1. I agree. We're not ready for a lot of the things we can do.

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  22. First , I have to say I love your spring flowers header , Marcy!

    As for cloning... I have mixed feelings... I think for certain things it may work, but over all it's a bit freakish to me.

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    1. I agree; I have mixed feelings too.

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  23. Depends on what it's used for. If you want to bring back Fluffy, you'll get an identical critter, but it won't have the same personality. As for extinct species, that might be interesting depending on the circumstances.

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    1. yeah, not much point in cloning your favorite dog or cat since all you'd get is a look-a-like.

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  24. I think cloning is awesome - in sci/fi novels and movies. Not sure we should really put it to use - it might backfire on us.

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    1. yeah, I think I like cloning better in fiction, too :)

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  25. It think it's dangerous to mess with the natural order of life. Especially with our track record as a species.

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    1. Our track record is what worries me, too, when it comes to this sort of technology.

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  26. Well, I'm all for bringing back extinct species with cloning, but those who are currently endangered should be helped the old fashioned way!

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  27. That's funny, I was just reading about the Pyrenean Ibex that went extinct in 2000 and was "brought back" by cloning. They tried anyway, but the kid died soon after it was born. Maybe people should stop messing with nature. (Make a good horror novel premise though!)
    Fun post! :-)

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    1. Yeah, we're not quite there yet.

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  28. I've read where several countries (not including the U.S.) are pushing ahead with cloning. It all makes me kinda uneasy. But, on the lighter side, I definitely need a clone, LOL!

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    1. Then you should read the book Kiln People, by David Brin :)

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