You live in a world where you can clone animals, to flirt with virtual girls and play with dolls, robots, which are difficult to distinguish from humans. Returning home one day with a gift for daughter, you will find a copy myself. Your clone, who took your place and took your life. If the first sentence is quite jibe with reality, then the following is the plot of the movie “the 6th day” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Feel like dripping, the line between reality and fiction?
Short. What we’re talking about
- Who are the clones?
- How to create Dolly the sheep
- How to clone a dinosaur
- Useful than a clone?
- Ethical issues
In January of this year, scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the successful cloning of primates using the same method of transplantation of nuclei, which was already legendary cloned Dolly the sheep. She died in 2003, and many of my peers and I watched the news about this event with undisguised surprise, delight and a bit of fear.
Cloned sheep. It’s no joke! In the teenage mind it turned into something comparable to the alien cyborg, the eighth wonder of the world in an organic shell. The Internet in those years has been extremely limited and expensive portions, and therefore to dig up information about the animal wasn’t easy on TV told pretty General and vague…
In General, since science has not stood still over the corpse of the cloned sheep, became a world celebrity. Humanity has progressed from experiments with tadpoles to primates and human embryos. But about all under the order.
Who are the clones?
Clones obtained by cloning, as incredible as it may sound. Let’s start with the fact that even identical twins can be called clones, because they developed from the same fertilized egg. Clones are cells of multicellular organisms, and even plants which was the result of vegetative (asexual) propagation: cuttings, tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, etc. It is quite an ancient tool of plant breeding, through which we try to eat good vegetables and fruit.
But if the plant is clear, the human or the cow, the onion is not propagated. From their parents we obtained the set of genes, these sets differ as dads with moms, we are different. And so we be not like only father or only mother. Each of us is unique! From a genetic point of view, of course. And that’s great: the more different people are, the wider the variety of species and the more it is protected from any shocks the environment.
How to create a clone on the example of Dolly the sheep
Dolly born 5 July 1996 in Scotland. It happened in the lab of Jan Wilmut and Keith Campbell in Rosinska Institute. She was born as the usual sheep. That’s only her mother at the time of birth has long been dead. Dolly has gone from a somatic cell of the udder of its genetic mother. These cells were frozen in liquid nitrogen. Just used 227 eggs, 10% of which in the end has grown to the status of embryos. But they managed to survive only one.
He grew up in the body of his surrogate mother, which was by transplantation of a nucleus from a donor in the spared from the nucleus the cytoplasm of the egg of his future carrier. A double set of chromosomes subjects only received from his mother, whose genetic copy was.
Dolly was a normal sheep. However, most of the time spent locked up and away from his kindred. All the same lab instance. For six years the sheep has developed arthritis and then and retroviral disease of the lungs. Usually these animals live up to 10-12 years, but Dolly decided to put down halfway, which caused a lot of misunderstandings in the media.
Some scientists, like the media, have suggested that the reason for the early death of the sheep could be cloning. The fact is that as the base material for Dolly was chosen as the cell of an adult individual with short telomeres. These are the end of chromosomes, which every division is shortened. This process is referred to as one of the main causes of aging.
Subsequent experimental study of the skeleton and compare it with more modern clones showed that any predisposition to arthritis in Dolly was not. At least, the risks were the same as normal adult sheep.
Whatever it was, but animal cloning has raised a number of moral and ethical questions about this procedure. In 2003, scientists assumed that up to full human cloning was ten years old. Of course, they were too optimistic, because we have a lot of work.
Let’s clone a dinosaur!
One of the promising applications of cloning is seen as an opportunity to revive the long-lost species of animals, as well as those that gradually disappear under the pace of scientific and technological progress. But, unfortunately, to bring back to life the dinosaurs is not yet possible. Mainly scientists find their fossils in which no trace of organic matter with genetic material.
Some hope, researchers gave the discovery in the bones of dinosaur proteins. But found in the remains of the T. Rex collagen was the same as the ostriches that put an end to any further experiments. To revive these animals will succeed only when we find well-preserved and full of genetic material. You know how high those odds after millions of years after the death of the dinosaurs.
But okay, let the scientists have succeeded to the Land in numerous parallel universes. What’s next? What about the egg? Where to find close enough for the structure of the related species, which can make future dinosaurs? And if they even exist in today’s environment? Some people do not suffer the permutation in the room, and the poor dinosaurs have to breathe air that is 21% saturated with oxygen instead of the usual millions of years ago 10-15%.
But because the eye is more close to us on the timeline of the species. For example, the last great Dodo bird left this cruel world in the 17th century, but they know about it, even students (not sure today). All thanks to a caricature self-portrait by Lewis Carroll of “Alice in Wonderland”.
Multiple instances of this bird in the form of stuffed animals preserved in various museums. Preserved their soft tissues, and among the relatives listed Nicobar pigeon, which would make the offspring of the Dodo. However, while all of this was just talk.
Among the famous, but unfortunately, the failed attempts to revive the dead is the Pyrenean ibex, which disappeared relatively recently — in 2000. In 2009, his clone was born, who lived only seven minutes.
Why do I need a clone?
While in theory but not always in practice, discusses two types of human cloning: therapeutic and reproductive. The first involves the cloning of cells of certain tissues (not organs) for transplantation purposes. The thus obtained tissue will not be rejected by the patient because they are in fact his own. Useful thing.
How does it work? Does the cage of the patient, the nucleus of which is transplanted into the cytoplasm (the internal environment) of the egg, already bereft of its core. This egg multiplies, develops early in the embryo five days old. Then in Petri dishes received stem cells turn into tissue for scientists and doctors.
Who may need a reproductive clone? People who lost their loved ones and want them so back? But clones are not born with the right age. This happens is that in science fiction.
The cloning still too many unresolved ethical problems. And working with embryos, albeit at a very early stage of their development, leads to waves of criticism for geneticists. In particular, from religious organizations. Still an artificial creation of life and the likeness of the gods they cannot endorse.
Moreover, the reproductive human cloning is explicitly prohibited in many countries and threatens criminal liability. Yes, used animal methods exist and scientists do not see any obstacles to human cloning, in addition to moral. However, the problem is that animals are not persons. No, I love and respect animals (not all), but the fact remains: they are embedded into our digestive chain. And no one asks clone cows her opinions about the doneness of steak.
The reproductive cloning of human beings implies that it will not be a simple set of organs, and over the years formed the person that can radically differ from the original (which, in particular, demonstrate a Gemini). And the legal status of the clone is uncertain: what he must do to be rights and duties? How he should interact with his original? For whom he is the grandson or heir?
As for therapeutic cloning, it is also banned in many countries around the world. Although for scientific purposes can always make an exception.
Expressed on human cloning and the United Nations. Negative. In the Declaration on human cloning 2005, the organization stated that the application of life Sciences should seek to offer relief from suffering and improve the health of individuals and mankind as a whole. The document calls for ban on all forms of cloning of people in such an extent that they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.
Despite this, hesitantly, shyly, but steadily to the study of therapeutic cloning proceeds, more and more research institutes. When the time comes, humanity will still have to weigh the pros and cons, to remove ethical issues and to solve moral dilemmas. Because the progress can be delayed, but not canceled.