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A Giant Step in Cloning

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the a-barrel-full-of-clones dept.

Biotech 239

mernil writes "The Independent reports: "A technical breakthrough has enabled scientists to create for the first time dozens of cloned embryos from adult monkeys, raising the prospect of the same procedure being used to make cloned human embryos."

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239 comments

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FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348185)

I am a fish and I am not a clone.

Re:FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348487)

Editors: can someone just ban this fhqwgaads IP address already?

Looks great but (2)

BeoCluster (995566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348187)

Can I make a Beowulf Cluster of cloned embryos ?

hmmmm (5, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348189)

now all we need to work on is cloning typewriters, and we'll be set!

Re:hmmmm (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348421)

Well that, and a million years.

Re:hmmmm (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348633)

Or a way of getting year embryos from adult years.

Re:hmmmm (3, Funny)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348679)

I was thinking more like .. Now I can finally get my very own Angelina Jolie, Rachael Welch, Ingred Bergman.. Whatever suits my fancy

Re:hmmmm (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348861)

Yeah, after you've raised them as your daughters o_0 they still don't have accelerated aging, or accelerated education ;)

Re:hmmmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348869)

you can also be rejected by clones of Jessica Alba and Halle Berry. Whatever suits your fancy.

Re:hmmmm (2, Funny)

abes (82351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349027)

No no no. We already have Shakespeare, and we all know that is all monkeys are good at. Never understood why people were so intent on recreating Shakespeare. Plus, I believe all monkeys are part of the WGA, so it would be pointless right now anyways.

I poo on cloning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348193)

Hail red army!

Now if only... (-1, Redundant)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348203)

...they could clone typewriters too they could produce the Complete works of Shakespeare.

Re:Now if only... (3, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348219)

Heh, not quite quick enough there. Need more monkeys.

Re:Now if only... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348221)

I'm sure there's a patent infringement there.

and not only for the typewriters. (3, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348269)

I'm sure there's a patent infringement there.
... and not only for the typewriters.

If you are interested in licensing any of our simian IP, please contact the departmental representative, Mr Anthony Abbot, directly.

Yours sincerely,

        God.

The English canon (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348207)

I for one welcome our Shakespeare-typing overlords.

hmmmmm . . . (5, Funny)

spamking (967666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348213)

If Michael Jackson is cloned, is it against the law for him to play with himself as a child?

some of these are good [biofact.com]

So, the republicans will soon fund this? (0, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348345)

Imagine, all those republicans will not have to go to the toilets room and toe tap. Instead, they can simply grab themselves. Literally. This would have helped Haggard, craig, curtis, etc. Afterall they could argue that it does not make you gay if you give yourself a BJ and will say that it is like masturbation.

Yes it would be illegal (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349051)

In order to be legal the clone would need to be frozen Han Solo-style for 18 years shortly after birth.

Of course, if the clone then underwent accelerated growth in preparation for fighting in some war, MJ would be out of luck.

one problem (5, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348217)

They still haven't solved the #1 problem with cloning though: why would I want another one of me? My exact genes aren't that great as is.

Re:one problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348301)

Speak for yourself. My genes (except for the hay-fever thing) are awesome.

Re:one problem (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348317)

Your genetic code? No, probably not. Barbera Streisand? That's another matter altogether.

Scarlet (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348321)

why would I want another one of me?


You're thinking about this cloning thing all wrong. Think Scarlet Johannson.

Re:Scarlet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348747)

What is this? A Slashdotter who isn't looking for a fleet of Natalie Portman(s) and some GM Hot Grits? Your next reiteration must be redesigned. You will have to wait in line though, the designers are having trouble with a Britney Spears model who can sing and keep her panties on.

You need /bin/cp... (1)

r6144 (544027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348323)

even though it does not create any new information.

Re:one problem (4, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348373)

Replacement parts.

Grow a clone without a brain to avoid the ethical implications. Keep it safely stored (frozen in liquid nitrogen?). If you need a transplant of anything you can get a new organ, fully compatible, and even better than before (lungs undamaged by smoke/contamination, etc).

Might work as a way of living longer. Heart is not doing so well when you're 70? Replace it with one from a 20 year old clone.

I could see modified clones being used. A gender swapped clone, a clone with blue eyes, fixed genetics to avoid diseases and cancer, etc. If you could move your brain to a new clone and keep this up long enough I could see people building a "perfect self", by fixing all the defects in each new iteration that they found in the previous body.

Re:one problem (2, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348413)

Given the brain manages the body, it seems improbable that you can get away with creating a brainless clone.

(Unless you're talking about creating Republicans! Arf arf!)

No, but seriously I think the technical challenges created by somehow genetically modifying a human to have no brain or a significantly modified zero-consciousness brain are far, far, greater than those that were up against cloning. I suspect that cloning helps us create brainless organ-donors in the same way that the wheel helped us create space rockets.

Re:one problem (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348525)

No, but seriously I think the technical challenges created by somehow genetically modifying a human to have no brain or a significantly modified zero-consciousness brain are far, far, greater than those that were up against cloning. I suspect that cloning helps us create brainless organ-donors in the same way that the wheel helped us create space rockets.


Why, this even happens naturally. People are born with all sorts of horrific malformations, some of which include no brain, and probably being born as a vegetable as well. It's probably much faster to figure it out from that than try to do it from scratch.

Of course a problem with doing things this way is that the clone's genetic code would include all this extreme brain damage, making it probably impossible to reproduce normally.

Re:one problem (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348683)

Well, yeah, some are born brainless (after living in the womb with the mother's life support mechanism in operation, and with most growth designed to run without brain oversight), but how many continue to live and grow outside of the womb? Even if we were to, as an experiment, put such a baby on a life support system, how likely is it that the body would develop? I assume that the body's growth outside of the womb is in large part due to mechanisms controlled by the brain.

Re:one problem (2, Funny)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349049)

Reminder to self: Breathe in. To Do. Cause stomach muscles to pulsate. Reminder to self: Breathe out. OMG!!!!, Atria contract, venticles contract, atria contract, ventricles contract. That was close! What was I doing again? Oh yes, Reminder to self: Breathe in, breathe out.

Re:one problem (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348433)

I could see modified clones being used. A gender swapped clone, a clone with blue eyes, fixed genetics to avoid diseases and cancer, etc. If you could move your brain to a new clone and keep this up long enough I could see people building a "perfect self", by fixing all the defects in each new iteration that they found in the previous body.


So long as you're only fixing "defects", such as illnesses, cancer, etc. I think its a marvelous idea. But once you start talking about putting your brain in another body is a whole nother mess in itself because it trivializes the point of having a body in the first place. We may as well just be floating brains [wikipedia.org] .

Re:one problem (2, Insightful)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348547)

But once you start talking about putting your brain in another body is a whole nother mess in itself because it trivializes the point of having a body in the first place.

Compared to your brain, which body it's in is a whole lot less important. Put your brain in a replacement body and it's still you, just with some weird body. But put a replacement brain in your body and you cease to be.

Re:one problem (2, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348977)

I think there's some psychological condition that some major burn victims have when they have to have complete facial reconstructive surgery, even if their new face doesn't appear horrific, getting used to someone else staring you back in the face in the mirror might be quite a shock to someone. Now imagine its their entire body that has changed.

Re:one problem (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349137)

If you're transplanting brains, why put your brain in another squishy human body? Much better to put your brain into a robot body.

Re:one problem (4, Funny)

BigDogCH (760290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348507)

"Grow a clone without a brain............."

The problem here is clear. What if I need a brain because of a stroke, head trauma, or something?

The key here is clearly to keep the clone sedated, and do a nightly robocopy or rsync to keep it updated. Also, the clone should be stored offsite, probably in a fireproof vault.

Re:one problem (2, Funny)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348853)

The key here is clearly to keep the clone sedated, and do a nightly robocopy or rsync to keep it updated. Also, the clone should be stored offsite, probably in a fireproof vault.
You insensitive clod! I have no mouth and I must scream!

Re:one problem (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348913)

No. It needs physical activity to keep healthy, but no mental activity or it will become independent. I suggest making it a postal worker.

Re:one problem (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348971)

Remember to poke some airholes in the vault.

Re:one problem (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348527)

Replacement parts.
If you saw how sausage was made, you wouldn't eat it. Your post gives me flashbacks.

Re:one problem (1)

olman (127310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348593)

Might work as a way of living longer. Heart is not doing so well when you're 70? Replace it with one from a 20 year old clone.

They'd have to figure out a way to "reset" your DNA/Telomerase/whatnot first. Otherwise you'll have a 20yr old heart that's (almost) as crappy as your 70yr old except for proper diet and blah.

Re:one problem (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348385)

They still haven't solved the #1 problem with cloning though: why would I want another one of me? My exact genes aren't that great as is.
Why not? Let's say, sometime in the distant future, maybe 20 years from now, you become a Type II Diabetic, and as a result you experience total renal failure. With a clone of yourself, you have not one but two kidneys that are guaranteed/i not to be rejected, since it will have your exact same genes, your exact same blood type, etc.

Re:one problem (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348411)

Exactly, I mean you could be at risk for liver cancer, you know how hard it is to find a match for a new liver? A genetically identical clone could eventually have the same problem though probably at a later date than you. Why would you want a genetically identical clone. . .:-p

I suppose someone super egotistical person would raise a clone of him/herself. Or if you lose a loved one this would be a way to replace them. . .scary stuff, hard to really think of a truly legitimate reason to actually need a clone. Cloning tissue or creating cloned organs by themselves however is incredibly useful, I think it's much more probable this tech will be used to make embryos which are then harvested for stem cells. Whether or not we should pursue it for that reason is worth another 500 slashdot posts :)

Re:one problem (1)

rice_web (604109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348557)

No... but /mine/ are.

Re:one problem (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348841)

They still haven't solved the #1 problem with cloning though: why would I want another one of me? My exact genes aren't that great as is.

If I ever need a kidney, I'd love to just be able to clone one of my originals. 0 chance of rejection!

Not to mention that by the time we're socially ready for cloning people, we'll likely have enough genetic engineering around to customize the clones. "Yeah, um, I want a clone of me, but, you know, taller and with a better metabolism."

And hey, sooner or later we'll get around to figuring out Mind Uploading / Downloading. Tired of being 50? Clone yourself a nice new 18 year old body and move your mind on in.

Or a combination of all 3. Tired of being fat, lazy, and having no charisma? Clone yourself a few years younger, make sure your new body is genetically pre-disposed to being attractive and physically talented, and move your brain on in.

Re:one problem (1)

Upaut (670171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349097)

Well, many reasons. When you begin the cloning process, you could halt it and harvest the stem cells, to repair your damaged tissues. Have only half a liver? Put in a scaffold impregnated with the triggers for liver development, saturate it with the cells, and watch your liver grow into a virgin hunk of meat that can once again keep you alive. Of course if we got to the point the scaffold works that well, then you can clone pretty much any organ.

So lets step back, and try another reason: Technology does not enable the scaffolding method well enough to get you your lungs, but through developmental science we know, by applying markers to the cells, what cells become what in the end. So you take a blastocyst of a normal pig, and another of a human (your cloned self). No remove the cells of the pig that will become your internal organs with that of the pig. Heck, even blood for usage in the surgery. Then culture the blastocyst further down the line, make sure its healthy, and implant it into a swine. If all goes well, you have a living organ bank to draw from.

Better then having the stress of waiting for someone to die to get an organ, will kill the black market trade in organs, no anti-rejection drugs needed, and you wouldn't need to bother a family member for a kidney.

Thats why.

Title is wrong (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348237)

You're mixing your metaphors.

It's either 'A Multifold Advance in Cloning' or 'A Giant Step in Genetic Engineering of Monkeys with really big legs'.

Your sig (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348431)

Genesis 1:32- And God typed :wq!
No way. God would have typed ZZ which is quicker and saves about 2 keystrokes.

Re:Title is wrong (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348465)

Yes well, atleast we know this business strategy has turned a profit even if it took a while, no ??? to fill in. Seriously though, The Wizard of Oz was made in 1932 and didn't make a profit for MGM until 1976, I can't think of any other example of media with that much of a delay.

Hmmm. (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348259)

How soon before we take some of the "icemans" cells and try to clone him? It may be interesting to see what has happened to man over the course of 5000 years. Of course that would require ignoring all ethical issues.

Re:Hmmm. (2, Interesting)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348275)

I'm pretty sure an iceman's DNA wouldn't be salvageable.

Something I've always wondered, what's the huge deal about cloning? It'd be interesting to add a few Einsteins to the world, sure, but apart from that, what are the real advantages? Wouldn't harvesting organs, for instance, be better achieved by using stem cells?

Re:Hmmm. (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348529)

And therein lay the sticky ethical problems. If you can clone, doesn't that make them "human" and because they are "human", just creating them to be harvested is (or could be construed as) wrong.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348629)

It'd be interesting to add a few Einsteins to the world, sure, but apart from that, what are the real advantages?

Even in your criticism you fail to see that it is even more wrong, even in your "justified" example.

It is hard already to be an offspring of famous parent, imagine how hard it would be to be born and raised with sole, specific purpose of becoming an apt replacement for a famous original? There is much, much more to it then genetics alone.

And I didn't even start on ethics of owning, or just dictating a life story to, another human being. In all this speculations and SciFi, clones are referred to as to OBJECTS, but they are (i.e. would be) just as human PERSONS as the rest of us and (would) have same inalienable rights as we do.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349093)

Actually, I "failed" to see no such thing. I hadn't even touched on the ethics of cloning, instead looking at it from a technological perspective. Every new technology is bound to bring with it ethical concerns; this doesn't make the technology in itself more or less interesting, ethics only pertain to the way in which we choose to use said technology. In either case, shouting that clones are going to be treated like property is a bit of a stretch, as far as I'm concerned.

As for my example, I'm not entirely sure what your problem is with cloning Einstein; do our parents not have hopes and dreams for us when we're conceived? Are we not steered into professions and destinies we wouldn't have if it weren't for our parents? I don't see a huge difference between cloning Einstein and putting him in a family of, say, physicists, and then hope for the best, or two doctors having a kid who's more likely than not going to be a doctor himself when he grows up. It is no different furthermore from a couple where the male is infertile choosing the sperm of a successful (handsome, intelligent, athletic, etc) male to fertilise the female's egg.

The nature vs. nurture debate itself is interesting of course, but I doubt we'd get anywhere. It suffices to say that a clone of Einstein is more likely to be brilliant at what he does (be it physics or something else) than any regular Joe -- if genetics have any say in it at all.

Brother-in-Law (3, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348999)

It'd be interesting to add a few Einsteins to the world

The problem with clones is that to get an exact duplicate, they'd have to give them and exact life experience. Won't happen.

Clone Einstein, and you're most likely to get my brother-in-law. He is a genius. Smart. But the laziest son-of-a-bitch you are likely to meet. He was tested early, school came easy, everyone treated him like a prodigy. As a result, he coasted through life. Ended up NOT going to college and becoming a half-rate photographer. Without the formal higher education, he is still good. He can read science journals and expound upon the theory behind the articles and hold his own with some laser physicists I know. But, he lacks the drive and the imagination to really put that brain to work.

The Einstein that we had was a unique individual, the sum of all his experiences. Clone him now, give him an XBox 360 Mark V with Quantum Interface and he'll play Halo 10 all day long and never amount to anything.

Besides, cloning takes the fun out of reproduction. I heartily recommend it to those of you who haven't tried the real thing, yet.

Re:Hmmm. (3, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348283)

hint: an iceman clone created and grown today will know as much about life 5000 years ago as you or I.

However I do see us attempting to clone wooly mammoths and dodos and other extinct animals.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348311)

Not to mention Paris Hilton once she OD's for good.

I know, I could use one...

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348463)

Why? She's not particularly attractive on a physical level, and she's unbelievably anti-social - if there are genetic factors leading to the latter, then creating a clone of Hilton will lead inevitably to disaster.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348767)

Not to mention Paris Hilton once she OD's for good. I know, I could use one...

What a curse that would be. Last night I was with a woman who, if you put them side by side, you'd choose over Paris Hilton. And as much as I enjoyed it while she was here, I was glad went she went home.

Posted anonymously to avoid all the annoying replies.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348343)

I think the GP mean to study the changes in iceman's physiology vs. ours. However, in this budget crisis, I think it would be far more beneficial just to melt his clones into more soylent green.

Re:Hmmm. (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348493)

Hint: will they be stronger? Shorter (most likely)? what resistance to what diseases do they have? How fast do the learn? Are their unique biological systems in their bodies that we have lost (for example the appendix originally was thought to be about digestion, but now appears to be a major part of the immune system), etc. etc.
That is life.

The cloning of Mammoths and Dodo are already in the pipeline.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348955)

They are identical to the originals except for the craving for brains.

Re:Hmmm. (5, Insightful)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348297)

Not that interesting - the humans 5000 years ago were basically identical to now. Only real differences are diet and lifestyle related

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348503)

On the contary - it's vital!

Where else are we going to get the next set of politicians to replace this lot?

Re:Hmmm. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348581)

key word on that is "basically". How much do they differ? That is not known. If they do not differ much in 5K years (esp. in intelligence), then it bodes poorly for mankind. Afterall, a species that is stagnant will not adapt that well. OTH, if we made great jumps in intelligence, and can show exactly how we differ over time, than we have an idea of where man is headed.

With all that said, there is more reason to believe that we are not "basically" the same. In current time, we appear to know a lot about virus. Yet that is doubtful. The virus that we know are those that show symptoms on us. It is certain that we have only touched the surface of all the virus. I am guessing that there are 1000 time more virus which inject new genes into our DNA and force small changes on us. In fact, by comparing iceman's DNA against ours may show one or two of these.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348691)

A certain base level of intelligence precludes many other forms of adaptation. Our current level of intelligence allows a subtropical adapted species to live inside the Arctic circle and it's been done for thousands of years. There are things nature can still throw at us like asteroid strikes and megavolcanoes but up to a certain level all those can do is "end civilization as we know it" not "exterminate humanity". Adaptation can only take place in response to unfriendly conditions that would otherwise make life difficult or impossible. There isn't much nature can do to force changes in our minds and bodies. I don't want to sound like a "transhumanist" but we are slowly gaining the ability to direct future morphological developments and even today we can do a lot with prosthesis. Any future adaptations will be by our choice. Come to think it, the fossilized human in question was surviving in a fairly hostile environment. This alone means comparable intelligence to humans living today.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348693)

Man of 5k years ago built the pyramids. I don't think you will find a great change of intelligence since then. man of Today is better educated and learns more, but he is still just a man. Now Man of 15k years ago that would be interesting. At the point we started coming together to form villages/tribes man hasn't changed all that much.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348583)

Can you imagine what that guy would be thinking if he were ever cloned, "damn, I wonder what I was thinking right before I died, or who I was like? 5,000 years ago."?

Of course it wasn't 'he' who was thinking 5,000 years ago, but someone extremely similar to him. Anyone know a thing or two about twins/triplets/etc.? Even some who never seen eachother for decades tend to be attracted to the same things/acts/emotions/etc.

Reminds me of the Simpsons, and whenever Homer was displaced from his original time period, he would act to an extent that people would be expected to act during that (language, clothing) but most every trait of his pig-shit-style habits remained.

I'm not too sure where I was going with this, so to save myself I'll just say it's 5:49am (it is) and stop here.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

tompatman (936656) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348613)

I think Geico has found some of these humans.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349135)

ya, then ABC killed any chance they had at proving their intellect and having a fruitful if not diminutive career.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349143)

Not that interesting - the humans 5000 years ago were basically identical to now.

Actually, there is some debate with that because of societal changes through "intelligent selection".

Over the past 5,000 years humans have been killing off other humans based on predispositions. Hence, humans with certain qualities (usually criminals) have be systematically culled up until at least the 1800s when the death penalty was slowly replaced with imprisonment. Not to mention issues with religion and laws about sex possibly changing the genetic makeup of certain parts of humanity.

Although the change would be very unnoticeable, it is possible that genetic traits that affect psychology may have influenced evolution just a tad.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349193)

You're missing the reality TV show possibilities, there's already a sitcom for crying out loud!

Re:Hmmm. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348303)

I believe that biologically we are no different from him, so we'd gain little there.

It would be interesting though. Getting it past the religious types, now that would be tricky.

I recognize the need for cloning and genetic manipulation. I'm rather hopeful that one day our species will get off this planet, but I am not hopeful it will be to another planet that quickly, Mars is a big job, we may not get to do it.

More likely is that we will fragment into smaller groups occupying pretty big ships, and head off. That could only work with modification to our biology that would help our surface dweller bodies cope with travel in space. After all, even with artificial gravity, there would be differences.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348697)

NO!!! The world already has enough lawyers [wikipedia.org] !!!

Sometimes... (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348299)

Just because you CAN do something, it doesn't mean you SHOULD do something. I'm sure (or would like to believe) there was a spirited, well thought out debate on ethical issues, complete with people from all sides participating. I can't read the article to be sure because it appears to have been slashdotted.

Re:Sometimes... (1, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348325)

I'm sure (or would like to believe) there was a spirited

If there was a spirit, then it would be logical to assume it is the result of sentience. That being so, any clone of a human would have one. Any idea to the contrary is little more than the standard religious doctrine of 'hate that which is different', achieved by the simple mechanism of asserting that the target of that hate does not posses something required for acceptance by the group doing the hating.

Did you know that the catholics debated for centuries whether black people had souls? And look how we treated them....

Re:Sometimes... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348365)

man, you're just having a field day bashing religion. it's great that you aren't able to stick to the science but you certainly can be part of the lowest common denominator. must suck to be an ignorant fool.

Re:Sometimes... (1)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348439)

Did you know that the catholics debated for centuries whether black people had souls?
No, I didn't. Do you have a cite for this?

Re:Sometimes... (1)

presarioD (771260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348459)

If there was a spirit, then it would be logical to assume it is the result of sentience. That being so, any clone of a human would have one.

Heh, but you have to admit the terrifying conclusion of such an assertion. If cloned human beings are manufactured one day and they act, live, breathe, behave just like anyone of us, including having religious worries/sensitivities, then that means that the act of acquiring a "spirit" is internal and not divinely ordained... GASP!

Imagine a world after this makes a frontline news story...



... quite fascinating...

Re:Sometimes... (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348491)

No, not really. It's what most people already believe. Or do you really think that nutjobs make up a significant portion of humankind?

Re:Sometimes... (1)

presarioD (771260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348703)

Or do you really think that nutjobs make up a significant portion of humankind?

I'm a cynic so that's an affirmative. Install yourself on a comfortable chair at a busy point somewhere close to where you live, and observe people, really observe how they behave. Then pick up any newspaper and read the consequences...

Re:Sometimes... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348765)

Or do you really think that nutjobs make up a significant portion of humankind?

Yes.

Re:Sometimes... (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349191)

If cloned human beings are manufactured one day and they act, live, breathe, behave just like anyone of us, including having religious worries/sensitivities, then that means that the act of acquiring a "spirit" is internal and not divinely ordained...
That just really weird reasoning, the process of conception and the physical growth of an embryo after that are rather well know and documented, the process also is not all that different from cloning. So I really don't expect a clone to be ay different from a 'normal' human being. And I surely don't know how a clone is going to tell us anything new about "the act of aquiring a spirit".

Frankly, I don't see the use of cloning humans at all, if we really need to have more of those we can just have more sex. It's easier and more fun.
Unless ofcourse you think you can somehow choose to not treat clones not as human beings, that might make them more usefull then 'normal' humans, but you seem to argue clones are not different.

Re:Sometimes... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348785)

Any idea to the contrary is little more than the standard religious doctrine of 'hate that which is different'

Yeah, because hatred doesn't exist outside of religion. [rolling of eyes]

To-do list... (5, Funny)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348307)

1. Clone monkeys.
2. Give them wings.
3. Fly my pretties, fly!!! Fly! Fly! Fly!

Re:To-do list... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348425)

you missed out 4 and 5 ...

1. Clone monkeys.
2. Give them wings.
3. Fly my pretties, fly!!! Fly! Fly! Fly!
4. ????????
5. PROFIT!!!

What for...? (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348369)

Sure, with a bit of extra work you'll be able to clone octopus-human chimeras... But is it better than having sex?

Skitbra (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348393)

Klonade apskaft. Skitbra. Precis vad vi vill ha...

This is exactly what we need ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348475)

... to make sure that we overpopulate the planet as quickly as possible.

Postdated (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348513)

You'd think two-thousand-year-old questions would generally be easy, but I'm still working on this one...

On the day you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will will you do?

--Gospel of Thomas

Re:Postdated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348653)

I am he and he is me and we are all together. Goo-goo-gajoob.

Re:Postdated (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349211)

On the day you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will will you do?

I believe you accidentally cloned the word 'will' there buddy...
And who said cloning was difficult...

"giant" step (1)

olman (127310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348569)

Not that huge step to be honest. They can create viable embryos easier, yay for them. However, they haven't been able to grow a baby monkey despite trying for 100 times so far.

Tech has "some" room for refinement right there..

Well the World does need. . . (2, Funny)

darnoKonrad (1123209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348575)

The world does need more human beings, the ol' fashion way is pretty inefficient, and of course reducing genetic variety is a good idea.

keep a good copy of your DNA? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348603)

I've been thinking for some time now that sometime in the next 25 years we might be able to clone body parts, but to get good parts wouldn't you need/want a copy of your DNA that is good without too many errors (like photocopies of photocopies).

Question for somebody out there? Should we invest in keeping a good copy of our DNA somewhere, a sample from youth or something?

Aldous Huxley (1)

AslanTheMentat (896280) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348677)

One can literally generate electricity from the rate at which Aldous Huxley is spinning in his grave.

In Brave New World [wikipedia.org] , the Bokanovsky Process [technovelgy.com] was the means by which one clone could easily be multiplied many times.

[...] By which time the original egg was in a fair way to becoming anything from eight to ninety-six embryos- a prodigious improvement, you will agree, on nature. Identical twins-but not in piddling twos and threes as in the old viviparous days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally divide; actually by dozens, by scores at a time.

*shudder*

Benefits (1)

NW101 (1158833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348695)

My very own Shakey's Pizza - here I come.

The first human candidate should be... (1)

CannedTurkey (920516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348807)

The everywhere girl! Then we can have the everywhere girl for all time! It's a cultural investment for our children. Won't someone think of the children!

Evil twins (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349131)

If you clone, half of them must be evil?

A little scary (1)

kcdoodle (754976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349185)

Do we really want the answer to the heredity/environment question?

If you clone me and raise the clone in a different environment than I had growing up, and the clone's personality turns out to be a lot like me, then everything I am was more-or-less predetermined from birth.
That would really SUCK.

However, if the clone was a unique individual no matter what I guess it would be ok.
I guess I really just want the answer I want!

Let's not get into a discussion that the clone might not have a soul. Or maybe it would have a fractional soul (like Voldomort).
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