Yet more e-mails on human cloning / genetics and replies

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Futurist Keynote Speaker: Posts, Slides, Videos - What is Human Cloning? How to Clone. But Ethical?

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Here are some more of many e-mails received on human cloning and other issues. All human cloning e-mails are 'anonymised'  and otherwise unedited.

Q: What about cloning extinct animals eg dinosaurs?

What are the possibilties of there being a 'real' Jurassic Park? If scientist have access to preserved DNA, can they clone a dinosaur, or at least an animal that has been extinct for many years? If you can, please respond to *****@***.com.

A: If DNA is intact it can be used - but remember that in old remains there may only be fragments and they would need to be added to an existing species. We don't have DNA from dinosaurs.

Q: Can you clone my dead nephew?

Dear Dr. Dixon: We kindly ask you if you can help us? The issue is : if you could ever have a possibility cloning a dead kid, who died only one week ago, actually he is my nephew, he died in car accident when he was with his mum, so my sister is desperately in the need of getting him back at any cost. Please, if you can help us know some information about, the process of cloning, and how does it happen, and in which country will the operation take place. Bearing in mind that we are lebanese, that means we are in the middle-east. Waiting for your kind answer

A:  Thank you.  I am so sorry to hear of the death of your nephew.  Sadly no cloning can ever bring him back - even if possible. Even more important perhaps, it is very dangerous - huge risk of a mutation and also of emotional risk to the child - and I am against attempts to do it. See human cloning risks.

Q:  Morality of eating humanised animals etc?

I read your article online regarding human genes in genetically altered foods and thought it pretty interesting.  The philosophical and moral implications are especially interesting, of course, and a few things occurred me while reading your article and which I would like to get your opinion about.

Let us say that a new kind of food, particularly flesh, could self-grown in a laboratory, and which consisted of 50% human genetic material.  Would it not be less immoral to eat this food, than, say, a real cow, which however, as a complete animal with a nervous system a consciousness (however inferior to ours) had to be slaughtered?  Surely it is more humane to survive on something that never had any sensibility?

Let us take this a step further.  Let us say that scientists could "grow" human bodies without heads and a central nervous system.  Are these bodies still human?  If so, "human" becomes only a matter of form, of the configuration of body, and not of what people generally regard as distinguishing us from other animals, namely our "souls,"  the exalted character of which (by and large) is our justification for considering ourselves so high above the rest of animal creation that we can use them for food.  In this case, the, the animal would be "more human" than the human body, -- wouldn't it?What do you think about this?

A: These are very complex issues.  How many human genes does an animal have to have to win human rights?  What is it that makes us human?  Instinctively, I am very uneasy about attempts to blur the distinction between animals and humans and repulsed by the idea of deliberately growing headless human clones.  And in your example why not go the whole way and just grow human tissue for eating?  No thanks - no way!  I don't want to be a cannibal, nor a 50% cannibal by eating flesh grown in the lab or factory that is "only" 50% human genetically.

Q:  I would like to clone 500 kids 2.5 metres high.

I would like to enter in contact with you through this line regarding my dreams in/about clonning, more or less, 500 kids with about 2,50 meters hight, if possible in the Northern Territory or in Australia.Could you provide enough information regarding this scientific dream. Theboys must posses a good and healthy genetical constitution so they will be able to face all kinds of deseases related with the incapacity of the bad genetical constitution. If possible the boys must be lean, that is, zero fat and good muscles condition to involve in bodybuilding program in the future. The IQ (intelligence quotient) level must be the highest,in our planet. THe memory must be very as camera, that is, having a photographic memory. The capacity of hearing the comming of cars or horsess from long distances), seeing (including at night/in the dark), smelling, tasting, etc, that is everything important to the military world, police world etc. If succeded the kids will be trained to helpme to lead or set up my dreaming empire in which justice will triumph. I will be very happy in providing more new and personal ideas about the clonning, in case it can be done. I will be very grateful if we can start it next comming school holidays. But, I would like to let you know that finnacilally I am totally broke, unless I or you could indicate me someone to support the realization of this dream that might sound impossible or stupid for certain people. In case, there is any obstacle regarding this dream,for instance, any injustice or act against the law, then, your cooperation in providing information regarding this fascist dream resulted from a mere positive thinking will be very appreciated. With compliments, I remain anxiuoslly in receiving your kind, cooperative and honest answer.For the development of science in our planet,

A:  Most readers of your message will assume you wrote as a joke, but the reality is that you are not alone in wanting this kind of thing.  However I am totally against it.  Even if it were safe, what about the welfare of the children?

Q:  Can scientists clone a replacement kidney for me?

I received a kidney transplant in 1984, via cadaver donor. My kidneys were not deceased but just did not develop do to a blockage. I still have one of my original kidneys and was wondering if it is possible to clone two healthy kidneys from a DNA sample of the one. I am asking because my transplant may be failing, my creatnine is 4.2 and there is a 5 year waiting list for another. I would be willing to volunteer my DNA for testing. Thank you for your consideration

A: Thanks - not possible to grow entire organs but interesting experimental work being done on seeding artificial kidneys with living kidney cells - perhaps from a pig.  To grow an entire organ would involve growing a whole person ie creating an identical twin or clone, impanting it, seeing it born and then as it grows up using it as a donor of a kidney.  I am against such an idea for many reasons.  However something close has already been done with the deliberate selection of an IVF embryo because it had the right genes to donate tissue to another family member after birth.  Ethical problems for the cloning example include physical risks to cloned child of mutation, emotional risks to the child, health risks by removing the kidney, and problems of consent ie the child will be too young to agree.  See Should we ban human cloning?, HFEA says yes to Human Cloning in UK - feauture, Embryonic stem cells for human tissues - human cloning next, Human cloning - clones of supermodels, Dolly the sheep, now human cloning lab for Japan - by Dr Patrick Dixon, The Genetic Revolution - Chapter 3: Human cloning - by Dr Patrick Dixon, The Genetic Revolution - Chapter 6: New Medicines and Health - by Dr Patrick Dixon, The Genetic Revolution - Chapter 9: Right and wrong - gene ethics - by Dr Patrick Dixon, Videos (40) on this site.,Human cloning latest news headlines

Q: Hi, Dr.Dixon.Contradicting to many of the people who are openly in favor of cloning themselves, I have a different view of this issue.

Immortality, as many of them are hoping for, is a curse rather than a blessing. To me, life is precious because it has a limited time span. If all of us can live forever (suppose we can transfer our brain-waves into our clones), we will not be able to enjoy life as we do now. I know that I don't have a very strong argument, but I strongly believe in it. I sincerely hope many of the other advocates of cloning to seriously consider this argument before they actually clone themselves in hoping for immortality. Thanks for your time.

A:  I agree - immortality here on earth may not be the taste of heaven people hope for - at least in the world as it is.


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mr f manywao
July 21, 2010 - 07:33
human cloning an hiv-aids generation created

with the coming of human cloning it means the spread of hiv-aids will be a thing of the past as individuals will be able to reproduce with an form of sexual contact hence the virus is not spread.

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