UK scientists clone human embryo

Blue Velvet

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Jul 4, 2004
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British scientists say they have successfully cloned a human embryo -- the country's first.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4563607.stm

I'm surprised. Didn't know things were moving so rapidly...

The Newcastle University team took eggs from 11 women, removed the genetic material and replaced it with DNA from embryonic stem cells. Three of the resultant clones lived and grew in the laboratory for three days and one survived for five days.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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I'm not sure why everyone is so scared about this. Apparently some people think that cloning is "taking on the role of God", but I disagree. It's just science in action, no worse or ungodly than artificial insemination or open heart surgery.

I think that this is a fantastic step forward, and it's good to see that science is advancing in many places even as it's being ratcheted down here in the States.
 

Dr. Dastardly

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Jun 26, 2004
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I live in a giant bucket!
jsw said:
I'm not sure why everyone is so scared about this. Apparently some people think that cloning is "taking on the role of God", but I disagree. It's just science in action, no worse or ungodly than artificial insemination or open heart surgery.

I think that this is a fantastic step forward, and it's good to see that science is advancing in many places even as it's being ratcheted down here in the States.
I agree with you jsw, this is a giant leap in medical science that is probably unfathomable to most if not all of us. :eek:
 

Leareth

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Nov 11, 2004
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Scientists have been cloning human embryos for a few years now, especially after the international ban got removed on doing it.
The only catch right now is they have to destroy it by third month of growth. So no cloned humans for awhile...
but cloned animals and plants are OK ...
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
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After the Raelian's claimed to have cloned a human being, now I'm skeptical of this story. When there are genetic mutations what will they do then? There needs to be a moral code used.
 

Savage Henry

macrumors 65816
jsw said:
Apparently some people think that cloning is "taking on the role of God", but I disagree.
Me to, and besides, who gave God the authority to play 'God' ...Hmm?

I think that this is a fantastic step forward, and it's good to see that science is advancing in many places even as it's being ratcheted down here in the States.
We'd still be administering leeches for all medical ailments if it wasn't for leaps like this ... this and the great Leech Drought of 1674 of course.
 

caveman_uk

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Feb 17, 2003
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I don't want to sound all heretical but why do people think there's something special about cloning a human embryo? I mean, they've cloned loads of other animals and, at least in the early stages, a human embryo isn't that much different to any other mammal. Obviously there are ethical considerations but from a purely technical point of view I don't see why anyone is shocked or surprised.
 

mpw

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Jun 18, 2004
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caveman_uk said:
If I were the scientist involved I would be offended to be put in the same category as the Raelians.
I bet they’d like to be in a different category to the scientists at Glasgow and Bristol Universities who’s finding into obesity were also being reported by the BBC yesterday.

Following a study of 9,000 children these highly skilled and educated Professors have come to the shocking conclusion that if pre-school children watch lots of TV, don’t sleep much, come from an obese family and put on excessive wait prior to age five they’re more likely to be obese at age seven.

I know it’s hard to fathom unless you’ve got a science degree but apparently it’s true.

Now to the point of my post;
Funding wanted for scientific research into why people fall down in Hawaii after cocktails, does alcohol effect balance? PM me.
 

AppleMatt

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Mar 17, 2003
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Before this spirals out of control, in the UK it's already illegal (pre-emptive) to implant a cloned embryo into a womb, so no we won't be seeing any cloned humans any time soon.

The main ethical consideration here seems to be that science doesn't have international borders...

AppleMatt
 

caveman_uk

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Feb 17, 2003
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mpw said:
Funding wanted for scientific research into why people fall down in Hawaii after cocktails, does alcohol effect balance? PM me.
They have done something similar along the lines of 'What happens if you get chimps drunk?' Answer: Much the same as what happens in humans.
 

emw

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Aug 2, 2004
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jsw said:
I'm not sure why everyone is so scared about this.
I don't think everyone is scared - it's just that those that are scared (or, perhaps more accurately, are enraged) are very vocal. I think this is very valuable research, and that one day it will lead to cures for a number of degenerative diseases.

I'm not expert enough to determine if this is the best way to "mine" stem cells or not, but I'm not opposed to it. I just thought it was somewhat humorous coming on the heels of BV's post about reproducing robots...
 

MacRumorSkeptic

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Jul 9, 2002
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I'm glad everyone is so excited about experimenting with human lives and making guinea pigs out of them.

What happens when these clones get far enough to be birthed then end up with the same respiratory and organ problems that cloned animals have. One premature death after another I guess we'll just say OOPS! oh well, we're bound to get it right sometime.
 

mpw

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Jun 18, 2004
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MacRumorSkeptic said:
I'm glad everyone is so excited about experimenting with human lives and making guinea pigs out of them.

What happens when these clones get far enough to be birthed then end up with the same respiratory and organ problems that cloned animals have. One premature death after another I guess we'll just say OOPS! oh well, we're bound to get it right sometime.
That's one possible route. Perhaps the scientists will find a work-around for the problems experienced in other mammals first.

Of course I've not heard any intention to actually clone humans for the sake of creating new humans, I thought it was just about finding ways to source the materials needed to fix the ones we already have.

And anyway the correct scientific term is not OOPS! but Doh!
 

Ugg

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Apr 7, 2003
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MacRumorSkeptic said:
I'm glad everyone is so excited about experimenting with human lives and making guinea pigs out of them.

What happens when these clones get far enough to be birthed then end up with the same respiratory and organ problems that cloned animals have. One premature death after another I guess we'll just say OOPS! oh well, we're bound to get it right sometime.
Sarcasm aside, you do have a point. Science has a long way to go before it can clone a viable human being but as with most scientific endeavors, the first tries such as Dolly allow them and us to see the problems inherent in such an undertaking.

Serious debate does need to take place but I feel at this stage, what's most important is that science not have to hide behind closed doors due to those whose religions or beliefs find cloning abhorrent. It's going to happen whether we like it or not, just like abortion.
 

wdlove

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Oct 20, 2002
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caveman_uk said:
If I were the scientist involved I would be offended to be put in the same category as the Raelians.
Not putting scientist's in the same category. Just skeptical that human cloning has actually occurred. The cloning would lead to a birth as it has with other species. My concern with it is look at the problems that Dolly had.
 

AppleMatt

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Mar 17, 2003
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MongoTheGeek said:
I don't see what the issue is with cloning people. Its not like we are xeroxing them. There are so many issues of nurture that go into human development.
Are you serious? Can you not see the ethical minefield that human cloning is? Concerns might include:
- Where does life begin?
- Is is right to experiment with human life?
- Is it right to use these embryos as a means to an end?
Those just scratch the surface. If you took some time and thought about it, you'd reach some real impasse's.

emw said:
I don't think everyone is scared - it's just that those that are scared (or, perhaps more accurately, are enraged) are very vocal. I think this is very valuable research, and that one day it will lead to cures for a number of degenerative diseases.

I'm not expert enough to determine if this is the best way to "mine" stem cells or not, but I'm not opposed to it. I just thought it was somewhat humorous coming on the heels of BV's post about reproducing robots...
Theoretically it should be a 'better' way (basic rule with stem cells: younger = better, however this is quickly becoming very outdated and disproven), but in really it's not. In-fact it's a complete step sideways, and I'm not sure of what their intention us. You can harvest younger ESCs from the eggs that were used to donor this research. There is no benefit in transplanting them into another egg, only to harvest them later (they are older therefore less plastic). This research will receive a large ethical resistance, and rightly so, simply because there is no clear objective.

Facts we should all know:
- There aren't going to be any human clones any-time soon. They're illegal in the UK, the EU, America. It's only a few countries where they haven't been banned yet (presumably because they haven't been considered yet). That aside, these embryos lasted a matter of days. Even if the scientists got them to last months, at this stage implanting them into a womb would result in an instant natural abortion.

- ESCs aren't the miracle cure for disease they are made out by the media to be, what you are buying into is the 'stem cell wars'. I'm not going to explain why here, those that are interested will Google it anyway.

AppleMatt
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
AppleMatt said:
Are you serious? Can you not see the ethical minefield that human cloning is? Concerns might include:
- Where does life begin?
- Is is right to experiment with human life?
- Is it right to use these embryos as a means to an end?
Those just scratch the surface. If you took some time and thought about it, you'd reach some real impasse's.
Serious as a sucking chest wound.

As long as the goal is to create life I don't see the impasse. I see creating ESCs as being a far greater travesty than reproductive cloning.