Biotechnology and Bioengineering News -- ScienceDaily

Monday, October 2, 2017

Necessity is the mother of invention

Do you remember Emmeline Pankhurst? She became (in)famous as the leader of the women's suffragette movement in England which made itself known to the British people in the years leading up to World War I. She campaigned enthusiastically, but usually illegally, for the women's right to vote in political elections in England.
Wikipedia
BBC
The efforts of the suffragettes shaped the characteristics of British women irrevocably. Wikipedia

With the suffragettes in mind, then, it is interesting to consider the powerful position that somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has also given women who, not long ago, were not even allowed to vote! Thanks to the work of Dr Jose Cibelli and others, it is now possible for women to live forever without needing men at all. Men are now just unnecessary ancilliaries that may or may not be of use to women!

So, what can men do to rectify this seemingly unjust situation? Well, I think I may have come up with the answer. We need to invent a cloning machine that can be installed in local hospitals to serve the male community. When a man feels it is a good time to have a son to replace himself, he visits the clinic and a doctor selects an oocyte from a suitable female (possibly cryogenically preserved) to receive the man's somatic cell. The oocyte is then enucleated, and the somatic cell introduced into the oocyte by micromanipulators. The resulting embryos are given an electric shock to stimulate cell division, and the resulting foetus would be incubated in an artificial womb for nine months. I think doctors should allow would-be dads to use the micromanipulators and actually implant their somatic cells themselves (after careful training). The man would later be encouraged to visit the clinic and the developing foetus at regular intervals to allow bonding to develop. After nine months, the clone would be taken out of the incubator and be 'born'. The clinic would check that the infant clone was 'doing fine' and the man should then be allowed to take his new son home to be raised as he sees fit.

Friday, April 14, 2017

When is a clone not a clone?

I have been deliberating further about why we have the technology to clone humans, yet no one has been 'officially' cloned. Before I proceed further, perhaps I should remind readers about the first unofficial human clone, Dr Jose Cibelli. Since then, there are a few other unsubstantiated sources that claim that a human has been cloned. It is possible, I suppose, that people might wish to keep the fact that they have been cloned a secret; which might allow a more normal childhood for the clone - away from the prying eyes of the media, but I am not so sure that this sort of secret could be kept forever.

So, why then, have the superstars turned away from the promise of eternal life? One possibility, that was inspired by a picture of some dogs, occurred to me the other day while I was researching a new post. Now, I understood from the article that these dogs were clones. However, I could see differences between the dogs. I think this is the reason no one has cloned themselves. Scientists cannot yet guarantee that a clone would fulfill the dreams of laymen who actually want an EXACT mirror-image copy of themselves?

I have found an article called, "Does the perfect clone exist?" In it, Professor Peter M. H. Heegaard, Tina Rødgaard Højbøge and Anne Lykke explain that the differences between cloned animals such as pigs, can be the same as the differences between normal pigs. This means scientists have yet to perfect a cloning technique that guarantees identical clones.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The opposing view to cloning

Cheryl has posted a comment on The Stars Should Lead The Way I have made it a post in itself as I think it is important to give everybody a chance. She writes,
If you read Genesis chapter 6 you will find that when the sons of God (the fallen angels) came down to the daughters of men they created giants. These were the enemies of God that needed to be removed from the earth. This is why God, in the old testament, would wipe out men, women, and children due to genetic manipulation. There is a lot of information on the web regarding this, so it is something you need to spend hours in studying and I believe that you will change your mind about this. There is God, his name is Jesus Christ. He has a moral code. He says don't eat off of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God created souls for his purpose for a certain job in time and space. When a body dies and the soul leaves its body, it cannot be called back except by necromancy, which is forbidden by the laws of God. Therefore, if you clone a body, you are requesting a demon or some fallen entity to inhabit it. That is evil. You don't know enough about the spiritual world or you would have a different opinion about these things. There is a proverb, "Fools go where angels fear to tread." There is not a body alone, but a body with a soul. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!
Thank you Cheryl, your input is much appreciated. I thought I would deal with the biggest problem I have with your ideas.
Therefore, if you clone a body, you are requesting a demon or some fallen entity to inhabit it.
I think only a satanist would want to request a demon to inhabit anything, especially a new born baby. My image of cloning involves a caring, valued parent(s) who would like to preserve his/her own life or the life of a partner, possibly for ever. I trust that the love the mother would give to the infant clone would ward off any evil spirits, and continued care would enable the clone to easily join in with society, and in due course he/she would be able to pray to God for continued guidance and protection from evil himself or herself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chinese confident about the future of cloning

I have found a TrueViralNews report dated 20th November, 2016 in my alerts, about the Chinese having the ability to clone mammals, including Primates and humans. The company making the claim is the Boyalife Group which aims to be cloning cows from a massive new complex soon, and in cooperation with other groups, hopes to be cloning Primates and maybe even humans if public opinion is favourable.

Primate embryos were successfully produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in 2007. In addition, Tetra is the name of a monkey, born in 1999, by a cloning technique known as embryo splitting (not SCNT). Clonaid.com is offering a human cloning service using SCNT already.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The stars should lead the way

I have been thinking, as of late, about how to explain why we, as people, have yet to produce the first proper human clone. I have gone to some length on this blog, to enlighten the lay reader, and to support the research of the teams of doctors who are now in a position to produce the first proper human clone - as opposed to the experimental clone produced by Doctor Jose Cibelli. Dolly's daughters are remarkably well - proving that SCNT works, and the offspring of clones are just about as well as most normally-conceived humans.

I understand from Clonaid that $200,000 is a ballpark figure for cloning a human being. This may seem a lot to many; but what have we been doing for the last 50 years? We have been cheering pop stars and football players until we are hoarse, and they are rich! Don't those same stars whose statuses were created by people who had, rightly, become sick of killing and maiming in two world wars, and who wanted, at all costs, to avoid blowing the planet apart in World War III; owe it to their loyal fans to reproduce themselves exactly, so future generations can enjoy the exact same musical and ball skills as we did?

If they have had normal children already, I wish them all well, but what about those that have yet to produce children, or have had children that don't look a bit like their parents? Should it not be the duty of those stars to lead the way for the rest of us lesser mortals, and drive the price of cloning down to make it more affordable? After all, how much pension does your granny have left?

On reflection, it may be that we need to do further research with Primates, and leave Dolly and her family to enjoy themselves, before mankind is satisfied that it is wise to take the next giant leap in its progress.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Report of a new law in the United Arab Emirates

The Gulf News of September 7th, 2016, reports that a new law in the United Arab Emirates bans human cloning, and any research designed to copy humans or the cells of humans.

Gulf News

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dolly's daughters - Debbie, Denise, Dianna and Daisy

Many people are concerned about the robustness of cloned animals. Well, in this new article published by Nature, which studied the health of 13 sheep cloned by SCNT, there are no serious reported health problems. This is surely the best news cloning enthusiasts could receive!
The flock of animals aged 7-9 years old, "including four derived from the cell line that gave rise to Dolly", are being studied by the coauthors; largely thanks to financial assistance from the University of Nottingham, England.
There were no sheep found in the study that needed treatment for diseases. Two sheep had moderate to severe osteophytosis, "as would be expected in sheep of that age", but showed no sign of pain, and could walk.

Title: Healthy ageing of cloned sheep
Authors: K. D. Sinclair, S. A. Corr, C. G. Gutierrez, P. A. Fisher, J.-H. Lee, A. J. Rathbone
Publication: Nature Communications
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Date: Jul 26, 2016

Friday, November 20, 2015

And now...daughter of Injaz, the cloned camel

To Injaz, a female dromedary camel, one female calf (as yet unnamed), weight 38 kilograms, born on November 2nd, 2015. After recent reports about the drawbacks and disadvantages of cloning, especially the unnecessary health risks; comes a happier story of the first cloned camel to produce a normally conceived calf. Injaz, the mother, was cloned in 2009 by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). She was created from an animal slaughtered for meat. The most difficult part of the SCNT was to electrically fuse the parts of the newly created egg cell, and provide a mixture of chemicals to act as a 'catalyst' to initiate the normal cellular reproduction processes. This was duly achieved and the viable egg cell was then introduced into Injaz. The skilled procedures were performed at the Reproductive Biotechnology Centre in Nad Al Sheba, Dubai by a team led by Dr Nisar Wani, scientific director of the centre. The work was performed under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Thanks to the The National

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Friday, July 31, 2015

The engineering behind reproductive cloning

Reproductive cloning doesn't require the use of egg cells, just normal somatic skin cells will suffice. This is somewhat amazing in itself; but what is also amazing, and may be taken for granted by many, is the technology behind the equipment used to perform the delicate transfer of cells to oocytes. It is common to show the transfer on screens, where the glass equipment used can clearly be seen. Reference ASME
One must not forget the human oocyte is only about 100 micrometres in diameter, and requires extremely delicate positioning by micromanipulators. These must be precision engineered to achieve reliability in operation.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is cloning legal in Taiwan?

According to Geography.about.com, Taiwan is not part of the United Nations, and therefore may not have to recognize the United Nations 2005 recommendation, "to adopt all measures necessary to prohibit all forms of human cloning". Taiwan is considered by many to be under the control of China, and therefore is not really a country in its own right. However, Geography.about.com concludes that, "despite the controversy surrounding the island of Taiwan, its status should be considered as a de facto independent country of the world." Interestingly, the USA voted for the declaration, that is they voted against cloning, but only 15 of the 50 states have outlawed the practice back home. The United Kingdom, China and Thailand voted against the declaration. In conclusion, Taiwan then, may be a suitable place to clone humans.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Is cloning legal in the United States?

The USA voted for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration which advises members to prohibit human cloning.

However, back home in the 50 United States of America, only 15 states have made cloning illegal. Source NCSL.org So, Americans are divided on this issue, and therefore, one can imagine America being a country where people could be cloned routinely, if and when the methods are developed and standardized.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Clonaid.com can help you if you want an 'identical twin'

If you’ve just lost, or are about to lose, a beloved family member, and would like to see an 'identical twin' of that person begin a new life, then maybe Clonaid.com can help you.
Identical twins are 'monozygotic', that is, they develop from a single, fertilized egg that later split. Of course, a clone of your loved one shouldn't strictly be called a twin, because twins are the result of one pregnancy, whereas a clone would involve a second pregnancy. Source

Monday, June 22, 2015

Clonaid.com can help you if you can't have children normally

Have you lost hope of having children in the normal way? Are you considered to be clinically sterile? Maybe, the research that has been done and is still being done at Clonaid can benefit you if you would like to have a child. Please, visit the web site and consider filling in the contact form to discuss your requirements. Contact a human cloning specialist

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Otzi the Iceman and the woolly mammoth

This is the story of de-extinction: or how to bring back the woolly mammoth etc. Advances in cloning technology over the next decade may finally allow us to visit a real mammoth at the zoo! Thank you SBS.com.au And what about Otzi the Iceman? It should be possible to bring him back to life with the same technological advances. I believe Otzi wanted to live forever and bringing him back to life would make his dream come true! You can read the fascinating story of Otzi the Iceman here.

Americans change their minds about cloning humans

Medical Daily and Gallup report the biggest gains in ethical tolerability for two extremely different issues: the cloning of humans and polygamy. Today, three in every 20 Americans find cloning humans morally permissible, more than double the number from 14 years ago.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Has a human been cloned yet?

It is something of a surprise to me that in this age of supercommunication it is not clear as to whether a human being has been cloned! A clone is defined in the authoritative Oxford dictionary as,
An organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical.
The problem with this definition is the use of the phrase, 'from one ancestor or stock'. This implies to me that the only true clones are females that are produced by implanting somatic material from the mother into the mother's own egg cell, thus producing an organism from only one stock, i.e. the mother supplies the somatic material and the egg cell.
Consequently, the Oxford definition, although suitable for English students, appears somewhat lacking in terms of usefulness in the scientific world. It is for this reason that I think I should adopt the definition in the American Heritage dictionary as the working definition of clone used on this blog,
An organism developed asexually from another and genetically identical to it, such as an animal produced from an egg cell into which the nucleus of an adult individual has been transferred.
It would appear that the the first clone of a human being was produced before Dolly the sheep in 1995, but not reported formally until 1998 (Saltus, Richard 1998 "News of human-cow cell raises ruckus." Boston Globe; and McFarling, Usha Lee 1998 "Bioethicists warn that human cloning will be difficult to stop," Knight Ridder) The clone was a copy of a scientist named Dr Jose Cibelli. However, the clone was stopped from developing into a human after just 5 cell divisions at the 32 cell stage. Therefore some controversy will always exist about whether this was the first clone because we don't know if it/he was 'genetically identical' to Dr Jose Cibelli. Interestingly, this would not have been a clone using the Oxford definition, because it was a man.
Please let me know your thoughts on this and maybe the truth will out as they say! There is a poll on the top right side of this blog for you to record your opinion.

Glossary of Terms

Asexual reproduction - a form of reproduction that does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction or fertilization, and the offspring is a clone of the parent organism because there is no exchange of genetic material. Source Biology-online.org
Reproduction requiring one parent. Offspring are identical to the parent. Source TheFreeDictionary.com
A mode of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single organism, and inherit the genes of that parent only; it is reproduction which almost never involves ploidy or reduction. The offspring will be exact genetic copies of the parent, except in the specific case of automixis. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which is reproduction without the fusion of gametes. Source Wikipedia.org

Clone - An organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical. Source Oxford Dictionaries
A ​plant or ​animal that has the same ​genes as the ​original from which it was ​produced. Source Cambridge Dictionary

Euglycaemic - Pertaining to normal blood glucose levels. Source Medical dictionary at TheFreeDictionary

Identical twins - two people who are 'monozygotic', that is, they developed from a single, fertilized egg that split. Source Diffen.com
Two babies of the same sex who were born at the same time, developed from the same egg, and look the same. Source Dictionary.cambridge.org
Two children produced in the same pregnancy. Twins who develop from a single ovum are called monozygotic or identical twins. They have identical genomes. Source Medicinenet.com

Micromanipulators - equipment used to manipulate the delicate glass micropipettes which perform the injection of donor somatic cells into oocytes in the production of human clones.

Normotensive - Having normal blood pressure. Source Medical dictionary at TheFreeDictionary

Osteophytosis - A disease in which the bones of joints modify themselves as a result of damage within the joint. Source University of Michigan Medical School

Primates - an order of the class Mammalia, in the Kingdom of Animalia. Source Wikipedia
primate(s) - a member of the order Primates. Source Wikipedia
A very high-ranking member of the Church i.e. a bishop or an archbishop. Oxford Dictionary

Reproductive cloning - reproductive cloning gives life to a new human being. Until recently only sexual reproduction or artificial reproduction techniques, e.g. IVF existed. Reproductive cloning represents a new reproduction technique by which life can be given to an identical twin of the original cell donor. Source Clonaid.com
The cloning of organisms with the goal of planting the blastula produced by the technique into the uterus of an adult female and thus creating a new organism. Source Dictionary.com
The reproductive cloning of a sentient human being; generally considered ethically unacceptable. Source TheFreeDictionary.com
The genetic duplication of an existing organism especially by transferring the nucleus of a somatic cell of the organism into an enucleated oocyte. Source American Heritage Dictionary 5th Ed.
Human cloning for the purposes of creating a human being. Source Medicinenet.com

Therapeutic cloning - enables the creation of embryonic stem cells. Source Clonaid.com
The process of creating new organs or other body parts that a patient’s body will accept because they are made from cells that contain their own DNA. Source Macmillandictionary.com
Cloning designed as therapy for a disease. In therapeutic cloning, the nucleus of a cell, typically a skin cell, is inserted into a fertilized egg whose nucleus has been removed. The nucleated egg begins to divide repeatedly to form a blastocyst. Scientists then extract stem cells from the blastocyst and use them to grow cells that are a perfect genetic match for the patient. Source Medicinenet.com

Eugenics - the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Source Oxford online dictionary
A pseudoscience with the stated aim of improving the genetic constitution of the human species by selective breeding. Source Medicinenet.com

Meiosis - a form of cell division happening in sexually reproducing organisms by which two consecutive nuclear divisions (meiosis I and meiosis II) occur without the chromosomal replication in between, leading to the production of four haploid gametes (sex cells). Source Biology-online
Meiosis is a type of cell division that reduces the number of chromosomes in the parent cell by half, and produces four gamete cells. This process is required to produce egg and sperm cells for sexual reproduction. Source Nature.com
A type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores. Source Oxford Dictionaries

Orphan Black - the name of a series on Canadian and American television about human clones. Source Temple Street Productions

Sterile - not able to produce children or young. Source Oxford Dictionaries
Incapable of reproduction; unfitted for reproduction of offspring. Source Biology-online.org

From Dolly the sheep

Cloning has been around for some years, I can remember seeing Dolly the sheep, (the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell) on TV a long time ago. She was born in 1996. New research is proceeding all the time, and advancements are made in leaps and bounds.

Animalresearch

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