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Italian, U.S. Scientists Unveil Human Cloning Efforts

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the you-knew-it-was-coming dept.

Science 173

Lepruhkawn writes: "As described in this Yahoo article , scientists say they plan to clone members of infertile couples. I imagine that it's not so much success that people are concerned about as the failed attempts. Alien: Resurrection anyone?"

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I'd buy a mutated baby (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#478276)

You could stick it in a cage, take pictures and open up a pay-per website.

What I really want, though, is for science to come up with a method to take a sperm cell and grow it until it becomes large enough to keep as a pet. What a great thrill it would be to take a sperm out for a walk. Of course, it would suck if it ran away. You'd be walking around shouting out "Here Spermy, Spermy, Spermy" and then listening for squishing noises. Then there's the risk of the sperm falling into the ocean and impregnating a whale, creating a master race of whomans. Still, though, giant sperm on a leash is worth it all.

Re:I see no ethical problems. (1)

shdragon (1797) | more than 13 years ago | (#478278)

I have to admit that I don't quite understand the ethical hysteria that has surrounded the issue of human cloning. It's not as if "cloning" will produce an exact replica of a person, right down to the last sub-atomic particle. All that cloning would do is produce a being that is genetically identical to the being that it was cloned from.

so does this mean that the world will finally have satan and sadam as gay lovers? i knew the south park movie was an omen.... ;)

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#478281)

Oh yeah. And HUMAN CLONING is *so easy*.

Re:the technical issues of 'human cloning' (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#478284)

Actually, the DNA endcaps are called telomers. "Telomerase" is some substance that regenerates it.

Re:This could have practical consequences. (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#478285)

Most all of the various non-DNA prints that are in use today are determined developmentally, not by the DNA. In other words, a set of identical twins has different fingerprints, retina prints, and so on. 50 cloned people will also have different prints.

Re:don't celebrate "instinct" (1)

Damion (13279) | more than 13 years ago | (#478286)

If anything, it's a sign that whatever's being done ought not to be done.

So I take it you spend a lot of time staring into the sun?

Nothing good ever comes out of Italy (1)

Carbonate (13973) | more than 13 years ago | (#478287)

This is how it starts. First they say it's just some harmless cloning. Then soon their are some Jedi that get cloned and all of a sudden you have a full blown clone wars on your hands. Don't these scientist realize what road they are taking us on.

Mama Mia! (1)

samf (18149) | more than 13 years ago | (#478289)

It seems that POKEY [] was right about those Italians all along.

Listen Fuckheads! You've apparently never... (1)

Ensign Nemo (19284) | more than 13 years ago | (#478290)

tried to adopt. (I agree with this previous poster.) I work with a guy who (he and his wife) has tried 3 different times to adopt since they are unable to conceive on their own. He's one of the nicest guys you could meet and they would make great parents.

1st time: birth mother changed her mind at the last minute.
2nd time: it was an interstate operation and some beaurocrat found a blank on a form they forgot to sign (there were about 30 to sign and they'd already signed twice on the page.). This was after they had had the kid for a week! (you never saw a grown man cry like that)
3rd time: the biological grandparents wanted the kid and had decided this after my friend and his wife had put in lots of time and money.
My friend went through his entire life savings doing this shit and look what it got him. My apologies for cussing but some of you idiots only seem to listen if there is profanity involved. FUCKING MORONS! pull your heads out of your asses and SHUT THE HELL UP if you've never been through the adoption process. It's not as simple as here's-a-loving-family-who-will-give-you-a-good-ho me. Instead it's as political as everything else.

Re:WOOHOOO!!!! (1)

maw (25860) | more than 13 years ago | (#478292)

Funny you should harp on CmdrTaco's grammatical mistakes (bad as they are) when you don't realise that pluralising with an apostrophe is never correct.

Re:why? Here's why... (1)

Nebulo (29412) | more than 13 years ago | (#478293)

Having just undergone a surrogacy procedure, I can shed some light on this. Embryos are graded on their ability to grow and divide. In an introvito fertilization (IVF) procedure, a 'raw' egg is withdrawn from the female donor and combined in a laboratory with the sperm of the male donor. Fertilization takes place and the resulting embryo is permitted to divide several times. However, not all embryos are created equal. Some of them divide, some of them divide faster, and some fail to divide at all. Embryos that divide faster are preferred over those that divide at slower rates. Besides, in cloning situations, the genetic makeup of the cloned embryo would be identical to that of the genetic donor. Furthermore, with very few exceptions, we don't really know which genes cause specific diseases, so I don't think we need to worry too much about perfect babies. Give it a couple of years, though! nebulo

Hmmn... (1)

jtgold (31028) | more than 13 years ago | (#478294)

If you clone an infertile parent, don't you end up with someone infertile? Seems a bit depressing.

Re:why (1)

wolf- (54587) | more than 13 years ago | (#478297)

No, you arent the only one.
The line that got me is this one:

``We have a great deal of knowledge. We can grade embryos, we can do genetic screening, we can do quality control,'' Zavos said.

Grading? Screening? Quality Control? All imply an imperfect creation process. And, on what criteria do we screen? or grade? What passes? No artheritis genes? no alergies? are we just looking for 12 toes? how about weight? we only want the big babies (new studies claim big babies smarter).

Science: 1, Whacky-Right-Wingers: 0 (1)

tilleyrw (56427) | more than 13 years ago | (#478299)

The genie is out of the bottle.

It's late and I can't easily form cogent arguments.

Fuck religious/moral screwballs and grow my evil twin!

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (1)

eomir (65960) | more than 13 years ago | (#478303)

Others have pointed out the flaws in your argument, but I think that even your data is flawed. I have actually heard that it is REALLY hard to adopt a child. I know of a fairly wealthy couple who had to travel to Russia to find one. Do you have any support for your claim of "millions of children waiting to be adobted," because the number seems extremely inflated.

Re:WOOHOOO!!!! (1)

thopkins (70408) | more than 13 years ago | (#478308)

Better yet two Katz's and two sets of his ever popular stories.

It will start somewhere (1)

Tony Hammitt (73675) | more than 13 years ago | (#478309)

It's nice that they have finally decided to go public with the information. I suspect that infertile (and same-sex) couples have been beating down the doors of genetics researchers for such attempts since the Scottish sheep announcement. There has probably already been clandestine attempts and maybe even a success.

But it all has to start somewhere. I don't see how it's possible to go from knowing that cloning is possible straight to what I see as the goal of the research, which is to be able to clone specific organs or whole blood. I think that you have to start by building a few whole bodies, since that's the simplest thing to do. If we can do so under the moniker of 'helping childless couples', fine, as long as the research gets done.

I don't think anyone wants to be the last person to die from failing to get an organ transplant. This research is vitally important, it has to start somewhere.

Yes, I know that the world is overpopulated. Genetic research may provide solutions to that, too, better food, more efficiency, trees that grow up to be houses, who knows?

I know that someone will probably try to 'engineer' a nine foot tall basketball hero. But, really, who is going to be able to get away with such nonsense in the media circus/infopocalypse we have today? Everyone can find out anything they want to know about anyone they want to research. Do you think that no one is going to notice when two short people have gigantic athlete offspring?

This is the world we live in. Morality will adjust itself to the concept of cloning soon since it's pro-survival. Our concepts of ethics are based on the continuation of our society, and ultimately cloning will benefit humanity.

Re:This could have practical consequences. (1)

RGRistroph (86936) | more than 13 years ago | (#478311)

Twins have similar, but different, fingerprints and retinal scans.

Search google on "twins fingerprints retinal" to retrieve numerous references.

It's nice to keep in mind that numerous individuals with identical DNA exist. Don't go off the deep end, dude. Like everything else that people get excited about, it is just an incremental change.

Cyteen (1)

Karen_Frito (91720) | more than 13 years ago | (#478312)

I don't know if any of you have read the book "Cyteen", but it goes into some of the issues mentioned in comments.

the idea of a set of 'twins' 30 years apart, and clones having seperate identities.

Poor little no puppy toe!

This could have practical consequences. (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#478313)

Suppose a couple decides to have themselves cloned, and raise the clones as children. This could lead to some strange social consequences. What would happen if the children fell in love, and decided to start a family of their own? Secondly, if that were to happen, would the children be at all attracted to their parents?

Next problem. We've got technology that can use biotechnology as a security measure, because (in theory, anyway) no two fingerprints/retina scans/voiceprints/etc. are the same. What would happen if we had 50 people with the same physical features? That would almost certainly kill this security technology because it would probably be ineffective against clones (perhaps not the voiceprints, but otherwise . . .).

Finally, and this is again in the security area, wouldn't clones be far more likely to guess your passwords?

Re:Ethics? (1)

msgregory (98644) | more than 13 years ago | (#478314)

I don't think the ethical issue arises until they have to decide whether or not to destroy one of their mistakes.

Re:This is SERIOUS. Please don't joke (1)

msgregory (98644) | more than 13 years ago | (#478315)

Yeah, it's serious. So is having sex. Birth defects, abortion, overpopulation...

Re:Just flush it without telling anyone. (1)

msgregory (98644) | more than 13 years ago | (#478316)

The Roto-Rooter man if it got stuck.

Whimsical idea.. serious issue. (1)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 13 years ago | (#478322)

I've wondered about cloning myself... if either my wife (I'm unmarried -- this is hypothetical) were ever sterile.

I think it would be inresting... to say the last. Personally I was born with some birth defects; I've always wondered what I would be without them -- they're cosmetic (as beat as we can tell)... but I've wondered what I would be like _without_ those.

Aside from that.. I'm an irregular person.. my parents were greatly confused by me when I was growing up for reasons I won't go into -- I'm also of considerably above average intelligence.

Given my genetic makeup... and the possibly of being raised by a person who knew _exactly_ how your mind operated would be rather intresting.

To some extent I see it as being able to go back in time and to teach yourself things you know now ahead of time -- and speed up your development. Which is perhaps what parents do now; but with it being YOU that you're teaching it brings thing to a whole new level.

It's interesting.. perhaps completely unethical and wrong.. but an interesting thought. The funny part I've often wondered about is this: Say I clonsed myself for the first child.. and my wife for the second. Logically the two children would also be good mates for eachother (assuming things like this are genetic) and it would be naturual for the "children" to couple together late in life. Very freaking weird thought there...

Justin Buist

why (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#478323)

Alien Resurrection? Maybe Gattica or something, but Alien 4 was just plain silly...

In any case, if couples are infertile, am I the only one who thinks adoption is a better alternative to cloning? Yes, there's the vanity of having a child who will more likely than not resemble one of the parents, and yes, there is the biological imperative of passing on your genes, but dammit, them's a lot of babies out there without parents...
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

alot of comments (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#478324)

appear to be saying that if you clone an infertile couple, you'll get an infertile child. isn't the point of selecting the genes of the clone to prevent 'defects' like that?

blahblahblah, i know selecting the genes you want goes against nature and natural selection and all that good stuff, but i think saying that 'the clone of an infertile couple will be infertile' is unreasonable... right?
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

so... it is now possible to give birth to yourself (1)

delong (125205) | more than 13 years ago | (#478325)

This is weird. I assume that the fertilized egg would be implanted in the mother-to-be's womb for gestation. Oooh that gets strange. In a matter of speaking, you give birth to either yourself, or your husband.

Inquiring mind to CloneKid: So, who's your Mom?
CloneKid: I am!


Did these people happen to think about this? Cripes I think I would be too wierded out for words. I can understand growing a clone for aftermarket parts, so to speak. But not growing a little you so you can have kids. Adopt. It's much better psychologically. Think of the little rug rat. What's it going to do to the little tikes noodle when mum or pop is its identical twin as well?

This is too much for me.


Cloning isn't bad.. (1)

Dr_Bones (125791) | more than 13 years ago | (#478326)

..but cloning of people who have been removed from the gene pool via "Natural Selection" is.

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (1)

512k (125874) | more than 13 years ago | (#478327)

Another reason many couples don't consider adoption is because of the incredible drain of time and money it takes on you. There are a LOT of hoops you have to jump through to adopt a child, and if you do succeed, there's always the chance that one of the kids biological relatives will say, hold on, we made a mistake, we want the kid back, and they do have a chance of taking away someone who's become a member of your family.

just you wait (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 13 years ago | (#478328)

Just wait until you need a new liver or heart transplant, then you'll be wishing they could just clone you a new one. One of the benefits of cloning is making replacements parts, not entire humans.

Super Oedipal Complexes!!! (1)

gnarly (133072) | more than 13 years ago | (#478329)

Yup. Assuming the father was prediposed to be attracted to the mother, so with the "son" = Father, II, be so disposed. Same is true for the
mother, she'll be just as attracted to her "son" as she was to his replica 20 years before.

What if there are a son and daughter, they'll fall in love with each other and with their mother and father!!

about fucking time (1)

elegant7x (142766) | more than 13 years ago | (#478331)

The sooner they clone someone, the sooner everyone can shut up and stop bitching about it

You can't stop sciance.

/me waits to be modded down by all the braindead slashbots.

Amber Yuan 2k A.D

Re:WOOHOOO!!!! (1)

Jebediah21 (145272) | more than 13 years ago | (#478333)

From the article: scientists say they plan to clone members of infertile couples.

Great. All we need is more diks in America.

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (1)

main() (147152) | more than 13 years ago | (#478334)

How is this a "Troll"?

Unless your reading this and they've sorted it out. In which case,
I guess this is "Redundant".


Re:TMI - too much information (1)

chasec (157393) | more than 13 years ago | (#478337)


Don't worry (1)

Guignol (159087) | more than 13 years ago | (#478339)

As Coluche said: "I don't get it, even though homesexuals can't reproduce, there are more of them everyday !"

Re:why (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 13 years ago | (#478341)

Yes, and imagine the results of cloning people with genes that can't reproduce. Eventually, the ONLY way to have a child will be through cloning. Thanks, but NO THANKS...

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (1)

Cyclopedian (163375) | more than 13 years ago | (#478343)

Discover magazine has an interesting article [] about humans adopting another human, and has correlation in the animal kingdom (even fishes adopt).

The main argument in the article is that adoption is generally used to increase the chances of your species' survival. However, this argument doesn't seem valid when you apply it to a species that's at the top of the food chain, decimates the Earth, creates great literature, produces crappy Hollywood movies and great cyberpunk novels, etc..

Some humans are just self-centered and don't take into consideration that somewhere on this planet, there's a child waiting to be rescued.


Re:Adoption and cloning are separate issues (1)

RickG485 (169326) | more than 13 years ago | (#478345)

No, it is a valid arguement. The idea is, if the couple can't have kids the old fashioned way, there are a number of options available.

What's central to the arguement made is that if you want to have a child (but can't biologically produce one) you can adopt one of the many children who need parents, or you can spend loads of money on an unproven, possibly offensive technology, to pass on a few genes. I have to agree with the root poster of this thread. Why don't some people realize THEY AREN'T IMPORTANT! People seem to be oblivious to the fact that they get the right to utilize another of their 70-some years here is just a miracle consider all the things that can go wrong.

Re:I see no ethical problems. Really? Picture this (1)

CorporateProgrammerD (170692) | more than 13 years ago | (#478347)

Rich person clones themself.

Said clone is raised uneducated. But given the best physical surroundings, good nutrition, medical care, and encouraged to keep physically fit. But out of the way, in some small country, on a well guarded estate.

Then in 20 years or so, the rich old person needs a kidney. Or a lung. Perhaps some bone marrow. How about a liver or heart?

Hmmm... I wonder where they'd find organs with no risk of rejection?

No ethical problem?

hmmm (1)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 13 years ago | (#478349)

I could use a few clones to debug my code while I'm at the beach.

Aging... (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 13 years ago | (#478356)

Wasn't when they cloned dolly, they ran into genome aging bug? It has something do to with,
when a cell replicates, DNA is shortened, in
non crucial part, and once it is short too much cell does not replicate, sort of recursion control. One thing copying DNA another is actually modifying it.
just my 3c (inflation man!)

So, what are they planning next? (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 13 years ago | (#478358)

Years ago we did 'test tube babies'. Now we are doing cloning. Is it something that is really wrong?

Does this mean the US govt is going to clone people for war?

In case you are I am not serious or from Sirius.

Re:Kids need own genes/identity (1)

_dave_the_one_ (213082) | more than 13 years ago | (#478363)

So what happens as the kids grow up?
1). This will start the nature vs nurture crowd going again - here you have someone growing up who is genetically identical to someone 30 years older - but in a very different environment. "parents [...] expect their kids to be just like them. [...] Kids need their own identity." (From previous post). This expectation will be greatly increased if the child actaully is just like them. So what do you think the effect's going to be if the child doesn't develop the same way?
2. How are the parents going to decide who's going to be cloned? Maybe they'll clone both of them, have a matched pair - this is a logical solution. So, what if you have a situation where both parents were cloned? Would the son and daughter would grow up feeling they were matched for each other... would they marry? How would they feel about having other boy/girlfriends?
3. Just because the parent didn't have a particular disease / condition doesn't mean the child won't. Some disorders are genetically encoded as 'likelihoods' - ie, the set of genes might have a 25% chance of having a heart disease, etc. (Seen Gattaca? That touched on this.) Also, a lot of problems are caused by external (non-genetic) causes, such as accidents and diseases (just because dad didn't get disease x doesn't mean jr won't). How would you, as a parent, feel if your baby clone was dropped on his/her head and developed severe brain damage?
4. As the child, how would you feel knowing you were just like your dad / mum? A lot of people see defects in their parents and think, "I hope I won't be like that'. So how would the child feel if he/she was actually just like their parent?
5. And I can see a lot of children being ostracised because of this. Just imagine:

Cloned Son: OK Mary, this is Mum, and this is Dad.

...and later...
Mary: Gee, your dad's weird, isn't he?
Cloned Son: (fill in your own reply here).

Re:Once it starts... (1)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#478364)

You won't be speculating like this when someone strips your genitalia.

From the article:

He said 10 infertile couples have volunteered to participate, including an American pair who cannot conceive because the man's testicles were severed in an accident

Cloning Means the End of Evolution (1)

KarmaReptile (221189) | more than 13 years ago | (#478366)

Cloning is reproduction without sex. From an evolutionary perspective this is a bad idea. You need sex to generate the variability and diversity that make populations adpatable and versatile. In nature, reproduction without sex is called parthenogenenis. There are a few insects, fish and reptiles that can perform this trick but as you can see all around you, this is an idea that hasn't quite caught on with the rest of the planet. Messy are it may seem to some, the advantages of sexual reproduction are just overwhelming compared to asexual reproduction, which is what cloning is. While I don't have any objections to the use of cloning in agriculture, I think the we should stop screwing around with the future of the human species.

Re:Cloning Means the End of Evolution (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#478371)

Physical evolution is going to be less and less important in the future of the human race. Evolution has no chance to operate if almost everyone has a chance to reproduce. Eventually most everyone will live long enough to reproduce and evolution will primarily act in ways that will make us more attractive, etc.

"Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"
(I am a man: nothing human is alien to me)

What's the old saying? (1)

xFoz (231025) | more than 13 years ago | (#478372)

Traditionally it goes: "Two wrongs don't make a right."
But now it can be: "One wrong and one right and you've got "WHHHHAAAAAAA!."
And there's always casual sex: "Two rights make an opps."

I know I can be dumb at times. (1)

ishrat (235467) | more than 13 years ago | (#478375)

There are certain clarifications that I would like to be done:

1. The cell would be stimulated to divide and create an embryo equipped with all the specialty cells that make up a copy of the man.
Now does this means that only the main characteristics can be cloned and there is no 100% cloning as of now.
If so that would mean the clone would be very similar to the parent and not an exact copy. And therefore very much like a natural child who has great resemblance to the parent.
That would also imply that the cloned personality will be a different personality even though he may look the same, especially considering his socialization which is said to be the next major influence in formulating a persons personality.

2.Could cloning therefore render marriage unnecessary to propagate your family line?
Infact people may try to have pure races and pure familiesand avoid adultration.
That could also mean women may no longer need men in marriage for children or social security anymore, these being the 2 most accepted reasons for marriage. So feminist activism could rise.

3.You don't want to create a monster.
Would we still have black sheep in the family?

4. Therefore would that mean we still will have the same old society with all its good and bad quailties only now we can blame the docs and not family traditions.

Cloning is the First step towards Accelerated Evo (1)

user flynn (236683) | more than 13 years ago | (#478377)

When we completly understand the manipulation of DNA to achieve desired effects- Sex will be obsolete. It will just be a source of pleasure. We do not need to worry about a few clones preserving undesired characteristics now- people will eventually have the ability to choose desired characteristics such as intelligence and physical perfection in their offspring. The people who do not choose to plan the traits of their offspring will be left behind on the evolutionary ladder- l8r fundamentalists and all fearful religious/prideful types!!

Our children will be the product of our desire, not of the physical limitations we live by now. A new improved human is on the horizon. This is just evolution going doubletime... sweet.


Re:about fucking time (1)

linuxpimp (236963) | more than 13 years ago | (#478378)

I agree, but many of the world's problems are social science ones, not hard science. For example, we now have the technology to make enough food for all the starving people in Africa; however, the dicatators there won't allow us to distribute it. (People are more subservient when they're living hand to mouth. Too busy to overthrow the government.) It's like the concert for Bangladesh the concerned rock stars had years ago. After using the proceeds to ship three boatloads of food to the country, the government there wouldn't let it out of port, and it sat there rotting. I'm hoping that the new presidential administration forms a cohesive policy for dealing with Africa and S. America so we can use our technological advancements (like biological engineered grains) to help the people who need it most.

Ethics? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#478379)

I have thought a lot about the question of eithics of cloning humans. I guess that cloning in itself is neither ethical nor unethical. However, I have serious concerns for the type fo genetic control that this sort of thing could create. I just hope that we are ready because for better or worse, someone will do it.

Because we can. (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#478380)

I do agree with your sentiments concerning adoption. The answer to the broader "Why?" question can more asily be summed up in the statement "Because we can."

People have always done things simply to test their ability-- hey, look at open source! How many of program things because we can. It is no different really, except in the amount of power ti can gice to the wrong hands.

How cute (1)

dervish121 (245708) | more than 13 years ago | (#478383)

So freedom to procreate with willing participant(s), in your mind, implies freedom to enslave and torture people? Are you retarded? Do you really see one as the logical extension of the other?

Wait, I've got one: You're free to express an opinion against the government without government intervention, therefore you're allowed to shoot cops.

Oh, another one: You're free to choose not to eat meat, therefore you're allowed to blow up a McDonalds

This is pretty fun; soon, I shall come across the "logical" implication that makes me Master of the Universe. HE-MAN!

Re:Going too far for genotype (1)

dervish121 (245708) | more than 13 years ago | (#478385)

By all means, if someone comes to your house and starts cloning in your living room, you can say "Get out of here with all that there cloning! And stop chopping up that cow!"

By the same token, though, nothing gives you the right to come into my house and knock over the test tube where mini-me slowly gestates. What business is it of yours if someone decides to take some of their own cells and create a new human being? What right do you actually have (besides some "divine" right you've inherited from a 2000 year old book of fables) to decide how those cells go from being me to being something else?

If you're searching for the answer, it's none. Wasn't that fun?

Well.. (1)

Darkwraith (258716) | more than 13 years ago | (#478387)

clones wouldn't be your children because they weren't conceived and they are still another human being so thinking of them as a smaller self and a child is stupid and sick.

Re:The real problem. (1)

travis77 (261826) | more than 13 years ago | (#478388)

Industrialized nations have a negative population growth or very low growth rate. The problem is the uneducated third world. Statistics show that the more educated a country's female population the lower the birth rate. These techniques would only be used in the industrialized nations where birthrates are dropping.


To quote Babylon 5 (1)

travis77 (261826) | more than 13 years ago | (#478389)

"Flesh does what flesh is told" Morden after Sheridan nuked Z'ha'dum

don't celebrate "instinct" (1)

Chuck Flynn (265247) | more than 13 years ago | (#478390)

Instinct is something we have to put up with because it was hardwired into us. It's not a reason for doing anything. If anything, it's a sign that whatever's being done ought not to be done.

Nope, BUT (1)

The Troll King (300871) | more than 13 years ago | (#478391)

>The sooner they clone someone, the sooner >everyone can shut up and stop bitching about it
>You can't stop sciance.

Nope, but you can spell it properly...

now I KNOW this will get modded down...

Re:Cloning Means the End of Evolution (1)

chavster77 (303957) | more than 13 years ago | (#478392)

Darwin would be proud....

This cloning shit is too cool (1)

chavster77 (303957) | more than 13 years ago | (#478393)

please please please can I have 5 clones of Jenna Jamison please please please please

Re:about fucking time (1)

The NT Christ (305898) | more than 13 years ago | (#478395)

Cloning people isn't science. It's engineering.

Re:alot of comments (1)

dr0ma (307402) | more than 13 years ago | (#478396)

"blahblahblah, i know selecting the genes you want goes against nature and natural selection and all that good stuff"

It's odd that you say selecting certain genes goes against nature and natural selection.
In essence, cloning in general, can be found guilty of the same crime.
Should we be able to successfully clone humans in the future, those clones would not be conceived from the natural act of sexual intercourse, therefore, human cloning is in no way "natural" or an act of nature(whether you select certain genes or not).

The real problem. (1)

Dane Brammage (308708) | more than 13 years ago | (#478397)

Human cloning's real ethical problem is the same as that of all of the other ridiculously expensive reproductive technologies that have been developed. We don't need more births, we need fewer. There are too many people being born already, regardless of whether they're cloned, grown in a test tube, or born to a sixty-year old woman. Spending millions of dollars to pull this kind of stunt is completely irresponsible.

But what's even worse is this: If you read the Yahoo article, this same guy also has a project to grow human sperm in mice.

Now that is disturbing. Ick.

Re:Hmmn... (1)

gabba_gabba_hey (309551) | more than 13 years ago | (#478398)

Only if their infertility is hereditary and not, say, due to a swift kick in the nuts.

Parent post is! (1)

gabba_gabba_hey (309551) | more than 13 years ago | (#478399)

just in case you hadn't noticed....

Errr, the link is doh, (1)

gabba_gabba_hey (309551) | more than 13 years ago | (#478400)

you know what i meant....

Re:What happens when they do? (1)

Russello (309866) | more than 13 years ago | (#478402)

well, and what happened last time a major cloning brakethrough took place?
The GUI Food Chain:

Re:This is SERIOUS. Please don't joke (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#478404)

Hmm, judging by my userID, I've been here at least two or so years longer than you have, and even I can't remember Slashdot being "a polite, well moderated haven." You sure it wasn't you were talking about?

sterile parents dont necessarily make sterile kids (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 13 years ago | (#478407)

It depends on WHY the parent(s) was sterile in the first place. Plenty of people become sterile because of accidents or diseases.

Nevertheless, I'm a big believer in adoption.

But on the other hand, I think cloning _technology_ is a great thing - if they can make it possible to clone individual bodyparts, that would go a long way toward helping out people who need transplants. I'd certainly like a replacement organ to get rid of my Diabetes. *sigh*

As far as cloning someone who is genetically sterile - that's not necessarily a bad thing. What if Einstein had been sterile? Would that make cloned offspring of his a bad idea? No way! Something to think about...

glow in the dark monkeys (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 13 years ago | (#478408)

Far out! That is so awesome. That's even better than Bart Simpson's idea of a half-man, half-monkey type creature. "God, schmod, I want my monkey-man!"

But think about it - what if we COULD change our DNA? I wouldn't mind getting rid of genetic diseases for good. I'm sure my entire family could do without having Diabetes, for one, and the history of cancer & heart disease isn't too pleasant, either, or the congenital heart problems and kidney problems that run in the other side of the family.

Equating fixing genetic diseases with creating Frankensteinian monsters is taking things to a major extreme. There _can_ be a happy medium, _assuming_ we can master the technology involved, which is, I'll admit, a pretty big assumption.

If they can just get rid of that Republican & Democrat DNA...*wishful thinking*

Re:Which Parent? (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 13 years ago | (#478409)

Yeah, and if they each have a clone of themselves, then when the little ones grow up, they can marry each other and continue it indefinitely!

To paraphrase Mr. Spock, "It's incest, Jim, but not as we know it."

Society will get _seriously_ fucked up, but I'm sure the ratings on Jerry Springer will skyrocket!

Why bother? (2)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 13 years ago | (#478412)

I have no moral problem with cloning as long as they do it right which obviously takes some scientific experimentation to get to the point where it does work 99% of the time. No other way to become expert at a new technology. But for the couples I don't see why they bother. I'd just adopt. What you put in a kids head does at least as much to shape who they are as your genetics so why risk all kinds of medical problems in your child due to mistakes in the experimental cloning process? Let them perfect it on sheep first. :)

Kids need own genes/identity (2)

crow (16139) | more than 13 years ago | (#478414)

I can't believe how many times I've heard people refer to babies as a "little Jeffery" (where Jeffery is the father's name) or the same for the mother if it's a girl. Too often, parents buy into that idea and expect their kids to be just like them. They're at best disapointed when this doesn't happen.

Kids need their own identity.

Now you think that's bad when they have a mix of genes from both parents... Wait until you have a kid that is essentially a 30-year-younger identical twin of the parent. Ick.

Once it starts... (2)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 13 years ago | (#478415)

You can't stop it. I mean, cloning *sterile* people? How are those clones going to reproduce if their "parents", or should I say "originals", are sterile, hence themselves as well? Unless they start modifying their genes, I don't see an end to it.

Well, they could clone some fully functional person too I guess, but it raises many serious ethical factors for which I don't see any chances of positive consensus in the forseeable future.

Fuck, those unfortunate parents could adopt one (ore more) of the millions of orphans the World unfortunately bears, it would do much more good to humanity than starting to play a game for which we don't know all the rules yet.



Re:That unnamed country better watch out (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 13 years ago | (#478416)

I don't have a link, but I distinctly remember that resolution being passed.

There has been some whining about human cloning in various documents from UN agencies such as UNESCO, but I think that the UN doesn't really have the power to make anything like this illegal.

In any case, how is this really different from any other artificial method of producing an embryo using genetic material from sperm banks, donated eggs, etc.? We have many natural clones running around (identical twins) anyway. How will a few artificial ones be materially different?

Of much greater concern is genetically modified humans. THAT is something very serious - and the time is coming. I recently saw an article describing the first genetically modified primate - a monkey with a special gene that produces a flourescent dye for use in research. Now THAT is scary.

Re:I see no ethical problems. (2)

SeanAhern (25764) | more than 13 years ago | (#478417)

I have to admit that I don't quite understand the ethical hysteria that has surrounded the issue of human cloning.

Saying that you "see no ethical problems" is a different statement than "I don't quite understand". I will see if I can explain a couple of the issues so you will come to a greater understanding.

It's not as if "cloning" will produce an exact replica of a person, right down to the last sub-atomic particle. All that cloning would do is produce a being that is genetically identical to the being that it was cloned from.

Of course. I don't think the cloning issues have to do with the behaviors of the clone being the same as the behaviors of the cloned person.

In fact, if people want to see what a clone would be like, all they have to do is look at the human clones that we have all over the place: identical twins. These are people who, after they were conceived, split into two people. They are genetically identical.

So there are no issues about the genome being an issue.

The religious argument here is a non-issue.

That's a pretty strong statement to say. So you are discounting any issues that might have a basis other than in pure science?

Let me give you a couple issues that have to do with religion and society:

The first is one of the big ones. The process of cloning that has taken place so far in animals has been one that kills a lot of animals. Dolly was the only survivor of many sheep. The genetic material was inserted into many eggs, implanted into many sheep uterii, and many sheep started growing. Almost all of them died. The few of them who survived until birth died within the first few days.

That's the process that has currently been used. Many will say that there is work happening in other areas. All I can say is that that's the route that has worked so far. And no one has been able to reproduce the results that Dr. Wilmut produced.

So what we face today is the prospect of conceiving hundreds of embryos, only to have them spontaneously abort or die a couple days after birth. There isn't even a guarantee that one child will survive. Is this what we wish to do?

Since you bring God and the Soul into the picture, I want to specifically point out the life issue here. Many good people disagree on this point, but there are many in this society who believe that life begins at conception. Still others believe that life begins sometime after sustainability in the uterus. Others believe that life begins at birth. In every form of cloing that's been successful, more death happens at every stage of this new life, however you define it, than does successful life. Is this the way that we should bring a new child into the world - on the dead bodies of so many others?

You would be right in saying that this isn't a scientific issue, but it is a social, political, and religious one. And no less important at that.

Then I want you to consider the issue of the long-term effects. Dolly was produced with a genetic code that has very shortened telomeres, the ends of the nuclear code that protect it from disintegrating. (Paraphrasing greatly here.) Modern science simply does not yet know what this will do to an organism, sheep or human.

Should we bring children into the world when we have no idea whether they will even survive? When we don't even know of the rest of their life will be plagued with ailments of which we know nothing? I would think that, even if you disagree with the life issues above, you would agree that scientific prudence insists that we learn a lot more about this before we start applying it to our children.

In fact, here's an interesting quote:

"I can think of no ethical reason to apply this technique [that which cloned Dolly] to human beings, if in fact it can be applied,'' concurred Carl Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents about 700 companies and research centers in the United States and abroad. "The biotechnology industry exists to use genetic information to cure disease and improve agriculture. We opposed human cloning when it was a theory. Now that it may be possible, we urge that it be prohibited by law.''
Heading into theology:
It is reasonable to assume that a cloned human would be the theological equivalent of a cat or an emu or other such animal. In other words, they are a living, sentient being, but because their origins are man-made instead of divine, they (by definition) cannot have a soul.

Why do you think that man-assisted conception would be any less "soulful" than a "natural" conception? With your argument, those children who were born through the process of Artificial Insemination or In Vitro Fertilization have no souls. This is obviously false.

I hope that the above has brought another viewpoint to light that you might not have considered. There are a lot of issues here to resolve before we plunge headlong into the practical problems of human cloning.


Re:I see no ethical problems. Really? Picture this (2)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#478419)

And what, exactly, is the problem with this? Is it that this hypothetical, evil "rich person" has a viable donor in case he needs one? I suppose that this will cause the downfall of Western Civilization as we know. Oh, woe be to us that those who have worked hard and proven their worth have sophisticated medical procedures at their fingertips! Can the downfall of humankind be far behind? Lord, help us!

Rich-bashing is a hobby that has gone out of style. Certain politicians have tried to revive it in certain recent elections, but those politicians have failed. Wealthy people have become tired of apologizing for being wealthy. In case you were not aware of it, wealthiness is not a crime, nor is it something to be ashamed of. Wealthiness is the result of a life of hard work or innovative thought. Your invented ethical "dilemma" about a wealthy person being able to clone himself to harvest organs is exactly that .. invented.

This is a fact of life: the wealthy will always have more at their disposal than the poor. That's the way things work. If you are espousing a system where the government forcibly equalizes everybody so that they conform to the lowest common denominator, then you are advocating socialism or, worse yet, communism, in which case you disqualify yourself from any and all civilized discourse. Pay attention to the news. The Berlin Wall has crumbled. These experiments have been miserable, embarassing failures.

Sorry for the rant, but the anti-wealthy hatred on Slashdot really bothers me.

Re:Going too far for genotype (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 13 years ago | (#478422)

See John Varley's Steel Beach (and Golden Globe to a lesser extent) where the ability to genetically modify one's self is common place. People routinely switch sexes, attributes and entire body types, and in the context of the stories such changes are morally neutral, no more controversial than trends in fashionable clothing are today.

Which Parent? (2)

Mateorabi (108522) | more than 13 years ago | (#478424)

So which one do they clone? I can see this starting fights and breaking up mairages. Mabee they'll have two (a his & hers matched set.)
Or is there someway to artoficialy create genetic crossover from both parents?

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (2)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 13 years ago | (#478425)

> That your own genetics, in a sea of six billion other
> bags of dna, actually have any significance?

I'm not insensitive to the suffering that orphaned / fostered children have to go through, but looked at through a telescope, this argument works both ways. Your argument is full of logical flaws, basically. If we're all so worthless.. why bother with children? They lose their parents, toss 'em to the wolves. Hell.. why reproduce, period? We're all worthless!

Of course, that doesn't address the issue that clones are created and orphans are already here, which is a valid debate topic.. but your logical flaws weaken your argument. Those scientists, if they aren't adopting now, probably wouldn't adopt if you forced them to stop cloning. The two issues are exclusive to each other.

Now, the REAL issue would be whether we have the right to play god..

Parthenogenesis (2)

shalunov (149369) | more than 13 years ago | (#478429)

I hope they are going to do it with humans, since for some [] species [] , parthenogenesis [] is the normal way to reproduce.

But let's be honest. We always knew it: Sex is best [] .

TMI - too much information (2)

UncleOzzy (158525) | more than 13 years ago | (#478430)

...including an American pair who cannot conceive because the man's testicles were severed in an accident.

Unnecessary detail, anyone?

Re:about fucking time (2)

tshak (173364) | more than 13 years ago | (#478431)

No, we can't stop science, but let's focus on a science that actually benefits people. We have millions of starving people, countries with great social unrest, and economies so bad that even the hardest working can barely put a roof over their head. Cloning, Mars Dirt, etc. is fine, but let's fix our fsck'd up earth! (Oh crap this goes against general Slashdot opinion I'm now a troll... maybe this will help:) As if all of this isn't bad enough, we can't seem to get rid of this "Windows" virus that keeps plaguing our computers!

For more information... (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#478432) this article [] in the new issue of Wired.

Much more thorough than the Yahoo article.

Re:That unnamed country better watch out (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#478433)

The UN? Are we supposed to care what the UN thinks?

Oh oh! They better watch out! The UN might get mad! They might pass another resolution condemning them! Please, not that! Anything but the dreaded UN resolution!


Going too far for genotype (2)

thex23 (206256) | more than 13 years ago | (#478434)

A friend of mine just had her tubes tied. She's 20. Maybe she'll regret it later, but she says if she wants a kid THAT bad, she can always adopt.

Such wisdom from someone so young.

This has gone too far, but it's just getting started. How long until changing your phenotype becomes a fashionable, and seasonal thing?

"My, aren't Mildred's antennae fashion-forward?"
"Yes. But her husband's goat legs are so retro. Was he born in the 90's or something?"

Face it. We are slaves three times over:

  1. slaves to our lifestyles(earn/spend social programming)
  2. slaves to our brains(ego/emotion firmware)
  3. slaves to our meat(DNA hard-wired instincts)
The big problem is, this is the shit that's going to make nuclear power and information technology look sick. And we're playing with it like it's fucking Lego.

Who is going to take responsibility for the monsters? Nobody. When are we going to collectively grow up? Maybe never. Frankenstein was a self-obsessed ego maniac with no compassion for his creation. He was trying to show how far he could push his knowledge. He wanted to create life so he could become a god.

Life is not a toy. What is bio-tech?

We thieves, we liars, we vandals, and poets. Networked agents of Cthulhu Borealis.

That unnamed country better watch out (2)

patreides (210724) | more than 13 years ago | (#478435)

According to the UN regulation passed a few years ago, human cloning is ILLEGAL on an international scale. I don't have a link, but I distinctly remember that resolution being passed.

So wehat's with this? Did they repeal the decision? Is it taking place in Yugoslavia? What are they doing?

Excuse me... (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 13 years ago | (#478436)

How can you simultaneously say people "just don't matter" and then tell them to "go make a difference in this world by adopting [a human]".

If humans don't matter in the grand scheme of things, why should they go adopt them?

Re:This is SERIOUS. Please don't joke (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 13 years ago | (#478437)

The reference to a sensational hollywood movie typifies the American attitude to everything.

Yeah, well stereo-typing is not much better than trivializing.

A bit odd, but nothing outrageous (2)

osgeek (239988) | more than 13 years ago | (#478438)

If you clone an adult, at least you can be assured that the clone won't have any genetic childhood diseases that randomly might affect your offspring.

You'd get a lot of comments, saying, "You look just like your dad!"

In this world, we already have a high degree of acceptance for what *could* be termed genetically defective people. Why would a clone of someone with good genes really be that much of a shocker?

In the long run, we'll learn a lot about how to create genetically modified human beings without the societally unacceptable "mistakes". Who wouldn't want to give their children better health, longer life, more intelligence, and better looks?

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (2)

dervish121 (245708) | more than 13 years ago | (#478440)

The lengths people will go to to avoid facing up to the reality that they just don't matter! It's obscene. You are totally unimportant. Here, have a Chinese baby; it makes a great way to vent out all your feelings of usefulness.

Granted, it's a pretty good idea, but I'm not altogether sure that it would make the world a better place

AZI! (2)

perdida (251676) | more than 13 years ago | (#478441)

Oh, HOORAY! There is another reader of real science fiction in the house.

CJ Cherryh also considers that when you are manufacturing a population, wholesale, why not go whole-hog and mold psychologies towards obedient, specialized individuals?

Julian May, who wrote the Galactic Milieu and Pliocene Exile trilogies, also explores the issue with the idea of "nonborns" which are people cloned for reasons similar to those in the Merchanter world, those being war and space colonization.


I see no ethical problems. (3)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#478443)

I have to admit that I don't quite understand the ethical hysteria that has surrounded the issue of human cloning. It's not as if "cloning" will produce an exact replica of a person, right down to the last sub-atomic particle. All that cloning would do is produce a being that is genetically identical to the being that it was cloned from. Depending on the experiences that the clone has, it will differ from the being that it was cloned from. People don't claim that identical twins are the "same person", even though they may be visually indistinguishable.

The religious argument here is a non-issue. Scientists may be able to do genetic cloning, but the most important part of human beings is the soul, and the soul is divinely created (that is, it is separate from genetics.) A human clone would be genetically identical to the cloned subject, but it would presumably be soulless. In this respect it would almost be interesting to see what the results would be. The results of this experiment would be useful theological information.

It is reasonable to assume that a cloned human would be the theological equivalent of a cat or an emu or other such animal. In other words, they are a living, sentient being, but because their origins are man-made instead of divine, they (by definition) cannot have a soul. So what would they say? What would they do? Would they be capable of moral or ethical behavior, or would they operate on pure instinct as the animal kingdom does? These are important questions, and quite frankly, I'm willing to set aside any ethical considerations in order to see them answered.

WOOHOOO!!!! (3)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 13 years ago | (#478444)

Now we can have two CmdrTaco's and TWICE the spelling mistakes/re-posts!

Re:The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (3)

Pheersum (243554) | more than 13 years ago | (#478445)

There is a reason for this drive to pass on one's genes. It's called instinct. All living things exist at the most basic level to pass on their genes to the next generation. The definition of evolutionary success is just that. If the urge to pass on your genes did not exist, species would go extinct.

Ashes of Empires and bodies of kings,

This is SERIOUS. Please don't joke (3)

Flabdabb Hubbard (264583) | more than 13 years ago | (#478446)

The reference to a sensational hollywood movie typifies the American attitude to everything. Trivialsation. Human cloning is an extremely serious ethical issue, one which readers of Slashdot probably have some intelligent opinions. Howver the reference to 'alien ressurection' simply reduces the debate to a flippant and shallow level.

I remember when Slashdot was like 'the well', a polite, well moderated haven in amongst the internet junk and filth. Nowadays its all a bit USAToday... Which is a shame.

The lengths people will go to avoid adoption (4)

Chuck Flynn (265247) | more than 13 years ago | (#478447)

Millions of children are waiting out there to be adopted, and yet we're spending fortunes on perfecting techniques of dubious ethical pedigree? Why? Because we're still hung up on the idea that your "bloodline" has any value? That your own genetics, in a sea of six billion other bags of dna, actually have any significance? The lengths people will go to to avoid facing up to the reality that they just don't matter! It's obscene.

For crying out loud, you're going to be dead in fifty years. Do something now to make a difference in this world by adopting and caring for an exisitng human being.

the technical issues of 'human cloning' (5)

drDugan (219551) | more than 13 years ago | (#478448)

it turns out human cloning is not possible right now. This is close to my area of research.

What people really mean about 'cloning' is the creation of new organisms that are identical genetically to adults (genetic material from fully differentiated cells). People naturally make clones earlier (twins) and artificially (fertility treatments). The real breakthrough with dolly & such was the ability to take an organism that has developed -- and hence we can observe the phenotype and turn its genotype to a new organism.

ok so along these lines: the initial dolly experiment can about from _hundreds_ of attempts. All the failures either never developed or aborted prematurely. The risks associated from harvesting that many eggs from one human would be high.

Additionally, no one has come close to performing fully differentiated genotype transfer in any higher organism close to man. A science article about a year ago had a good review of what had been tried. Turns out the success rates go dawn sharply as the genome gets more complex.

Finally there is the telomerase issue. We know aging occurs in high correlation with the shortening of end caps on the chromosomes called "telomerases" These shortened telomerases are already present in fully differentiated cells and it was measured in sheep that the cloned animals too have shorter telomerases. The result: there is strong suspicion that cloned animals may have shorter lifespan. Sequential cloning might be disastrous.

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