Cloning Humans?

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I want to be able to clone my someone who is close to me when they die~ Is it possible or would everyone else disagree?

Posted: 06-06-11 16:24 by FutureMedic

Technically, yes, it probably is possible. Actually, no, you wouldn't be able to do it. Apart from being VERY expensive, risky and unethical, it's also highly illegal to clone humans. Some say it's probably been done in a private laboratory somewhere already, and I wouldn't be surprised, but there's been no case of it appear in the media, and that'd make seriously high priority news.

However, from the tests that have already been done on animals (including Dolly the sheep), the clone always tends to have low quality of life, and dies quite soon after birth, as the "Hayflick limit", or the number of times a cell can divide in the organism's lifetime, has already been eaten into, and so even though they would start off young again, their cells would already be the same age as whoever you took them from, so whatever disease killed them would probably begin to affect their clone very quickly.

Ethically, stand where you like on it, I'd say no as it's unfair to put the clone through that, but it is illegal to clone a human being, so for that reason, it's not really possible.

Posted: 06-06-11 19:41 by Fool

It's just that my grandma died.....my mum is REALLY sad, but I'm not that close to my grandma as last time I saw her was when I was 3 and I don't remember anything about her...you think maybe the civilisation might change?

Posted: 06-06-11 20:08 by FutureMedic

I'm sorry to hear that.

And no, I doubt it, because it's so unfair on the clone. If it's any consolation, even if they got the clone right, AND managed to find a way to remove or reset the Hayflick limit, it wouldn't be the same person afterwards anyway, because you'd have to start from a baby again, and then their personality would develop differently. Yes, there'd probably be some similarities, I mean, some of a person's personality is inherited, but you could practically call them a different person. I won't get into the nature/nurture debate, but they wouldn't even look quite the same because appearance is affected by the environment you live in too, which would be different now, to when your Grandma grew up.

So no, I don't think it will change, at least until the science behind it develops a bit. And even then I doubt it.

My Mom's Mom died a few years ago too. It might not seem like it now, but your Mum will get through this, she won't be sad forever, but it's pretty hard to lose a parent.

All the best.

Posted: 07-06-11 18:19 by Fool

Thanks, I think I understand a bit better now, I was just really curious - if we can clone lost ones then we would live forever. I heard my science teacher saying someone cloned a pet after it died from a car crash! (I mean..I know that's animal, but it makes cloning lost ones sound like it's possible...)

Thanks for all your comments :)

Posted: 09-06-11 20:06 by FutureMedic

This is a really interesting topic. 

The type of cloning you'd have to undergo would be called nuclear transfer. This process means you would take the nucleus of one of the cells of the person you want to clone, and insert it into an enucleated ovum (that means an egg cell with the nucleus removed, so there is no genetic information in it- basically an empty cell), and then fuse them together, so what you have is an egg cell of the person you'd cloned, which will develop into an identical organism.

It's really complicated- Dolly the sheep was cloned in this way, and it took them a phenomenal 277 attempts before it worked. Dolly was put down when she was 6- suffering from a viral form of cancer in her lung. It isn't known if premature aging had something to do with it, but as Fool says, the amount of times a cell can divide before undergoing apoptosis (cell death) has been reduced, because the nuclear information that you took from the person you're cloning has already been divided a number of times. 

Ethically speaking, I think it's very highly unlikely that cloning of humans will ever become a widespread thing. Therapeutic cloning (where you clone peoples organs, tissues or cells) to help cure people of diseases, and improve the transplant system, I believe will come about soon enough, but cloning of whole human beings is very controversial. How do we know if the cloned organism won't be born severely brain damaged, or physically disabled? It's wrong to bring a person into the world that will suffer very much in their short life. 
  Also, in cloning someone, you'll end up with a baby version of the person you're trying to clone. You'll never be able to bring back the person you lost, because what made them who they were wasn't just their biology, it was their upbringing, their experiences, their friendships. You might have someone that looks identical to them- but they won't be the same person.

I hope this sheds a little more light on it, and I'm sorry for your loss.

Peace 

Posted: 12-06-11 12:09 by Hannah

Em...that makes sense....my grandma was brought up in a poor area in China. I probably misunderstood why my mum is so sad, I thought if we clone my grandma she'll be all happy again. So..my mum misses everything about her, not just her genetic information? (Come to think of it now, that makes a lot of sense!) I don't suppose we can ever get her back then. After all, we are unique..which is bad in this sense.

Thanks for your comments :)

Posted: 16-06-11 17:03 by FutureMedic

Sorry about your grandma - but it would take like 100 years until soceity changed its views on cloning people - but I guess everyone has to face a loss of a family member and sadness, it makes us appreaciate life and happiness more. I dont think cloning would be the solution to grief - people have to just realise that their loved ones are gone and face it (even though its very hard) but trust me, no one stays sad forvever - my grandad died like 5 years ago and withen 1 year, I recovered. Just show your mum that you love her and that you support her and its okay for her to cry/ grief about your grandmother - its s sign of recovery - and certainly not weekness. Sorry about your loss Lisa ***

Posted: 18-06-11 19:06 by Sara

Thank you for your comment! I am trying my hardest to help her to get through this, and I think she is remembering, now, that she still has me and my dad! So...all going well :)

Posted: 11-07-11 20:16 by FutureMedic

Aww, well glad to hear that and all the best x

Posted: 11-07-11 20:39 by Sara