Jump to content

15 posts in this topic

Posted

It's been 17 years since Dolly the sheep was cloned from a mammary cell. And now scientists applied the same technique to make the first embryonic stem cell lines from human skin cells.

Ever since Ian Wilmut, an unassuming embryologist working at the Roslin Institute just outside of Edinburgh stunned the world by cloning the first mammal, Dolly, scientists have been asking -- could humans be cloned in the same way?

Putting aside the ethical challenges the question raised, the query turned out to involve more wishful thinking than scientific success. Despite the fact that dozens of other species have been cloned using the technique, called nuclear transfer, human cells have remained stubbornly resistant to the process.

Until now. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a professor at Oregon Health & Science University, and his colleagues report in the journal [i]Cell[/i] that they have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells back to their embryonic state.

The purpose of the study, however, was not to generate human clones but to produce lines of embryonic stem cells. These can develop into muscle, nerve, or other cells that make up the body's tissues. The process, he says, took only a few months, a surprisingly short period to reach such an important milestone.

Nuclear transfer involves inserting a fully developed cell -- in Mitalipov's study, the cells came from the skin of fetuses -- into the nucleus of an egg, and then manipulating the egg to start dividing, a process that normally only occurs after it has been fertilized by a sperm.

After several days, the ball of cells that results contains a blanket of embryonic stem cells endowed with the genetic material of the donor skin cell, which have the ability to generate every cell type from that donor.

That technique for generating embryonic-like stem cells (called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells) bypassed the need for transferring the cells into eggs, as Wilmut had done, and also averted the ethical issues attached to extracting stem cells from embryos as Thomson had done. Plus, the iPS cells had the advantage that patients could generate their own stem cells and potentially grow new cells they might need to treat or avert diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's or heart problems.

[url="http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/15/health/time-cloning-stem-cells/index.html?hpt=hp_t3"]more[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote]
The purpose of the study, however, was not to generate human clones but to produce lines of embryonic stem cells
[/quote]

I hope they never make human clones. That's going to raise all kind of ethical and moral issues that we may never be able to resolve. However, making embryonic stem cells is a great line of research and will produce almost miraculous medicine breakthroughs.
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

^ I think it would be interesting to clone a few humans -- just to see what would happen.

I would not expect their personalities to be exactly like the originals.
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

i'm looking forward for brain data cloning, as that where human personality & memories are stored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Hum' timestamp='1368663804' post='595692146']
^ I think it would be interesting to clone a few humans -- just to see what would happen.

I would not expect their personalities to be exactly like the originals.
[/quote]
Nor would I, anymore than twins have the same personality.
The real problem, from an ethics/morality point of view, is if we're willing to kill said
clones for organ harvesting (for example), what is the real difference between a
"Clone" and natural birth people. If a clone demonstrates the same "Life" that the
rest of us demonstrate, but are modified to be superior in some (or all) fashion,
why not just kill the original and keep the clone.

Sort of a clash between The Island and Gattica. Or, more accurately, a transition in
thinking from The Island to Gattica.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

^ I don't agree with killing for organs now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

We don't need to clone people and kill them for organ harvesting, when we could just grow the organs by themselves.

It might make for a good movie (Although the island wasn't good), but in reality it's too much effort and just pretty horrible (Very few people would be ok with killing another human being for their organs, etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

i like the idea of being able to clone the stem cells because then it will allow for quicker and cheaper stem cell research whereas currently there is a not of stigma when it comes to their research due to harvesting methods for the cells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Wow. I can see this as an amazing thing! In a future, people who are paralytic, can start to walk! People who had problems in their arms, can start to wave goodbye!

I can see this a good thing :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Torolol' timestamp='1368664090' post='595692154']
i'm looking forward for brain data cloning, as that where human personality & memories are stored.
[/quote]

Could never happen, the brain gathers and stores information from the history and experience of the person it's in, how could you transfer that?

As for the cloning, it's so they can eventually use it to replace burnt tissue, damaged areas of the brain, damaged muscle tissue, damaged spinal nerves. If they can get it working it could cure all sorts of illnesses and diseases as the cells work like lego, they mould themselves into the kind of healthy cells you want, muscle, nerve, etc.

I have no doubt some kind of leader with no moral code or shame will try to breed supersoldiers, once the DNA genetic code has been figured out. i.e. How to make strong, fast, agile, clever people, then just clone them and voila, superarmy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='The_Decryptor' timestamp='1368752244' post='595694098']
(Very few people would be ok with killing another human being for their organs, etc.)
[/quote]

Actually, I think the opposite is true, unfortunately. It depends on the situation.

Assuming there's no punishment for killing, in a lawless society, in a jungle, on an uninhabited island, etc, most people, when faced with a choice of an imminent death or survival at the expense of another person's life or by killing another human being, would try to kill another one (excluding relatives). The strongest will live. It's a survival instinct - the survival of the fittest.

Example. Imagine a crowded place, like a night club. A fire starts there. I guarantee, that everyone inside it will rush immediately towards the exit, stomping on the weak, with no regard to a person next to them.

That's human nature for you. We are animals.

So, those people with the means to clone themselves for the sole purpose of harvesting their organs to pro-long their own life would not be stopped by moral principles or ethics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This isn't growing humans and killing them for their organs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm more for growing humans and keeping them around like living batteries.

Crap, I've said too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

^ Apple may have patented that. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='zhiVago' timestamp='1368795668' post='595694802']The strongest will live. It's a survival instinct - the survival of the fittest.
[/quote]

Biological Evolution does not work that way, Were Titanoboa, Jaekelopterus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Megalodon, Argentavis, Sarcosuchus imperator, Argentinosaurus not strong enough ?

One look at the history of life on earth will show you that this is flawed, Most of the largest predators are extinct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.