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(fwd) NEW: HUXLEY-L - Discussions on human cloning and Aldous Huxley

Mar 11, 1997 11:51 PM
by Bee Brown

Bee here,
I thought some of you may be interested in this list re the clone

On Tue, 11 Mar 1997 17:45:47 -0600, Juan Carlos Garelli
<> wrote:

>HUXLEY-L on  Aldus Huxley and Human Cloning
>   HUXLEY-L is an unmoderated discussion list devoted to all aspects
>   pertaining to the works of the great English writer, Aldous
>   Huxley, particularly addressing his anticipation of modern
>   cloning techniques as depicted in his book Brave New World, and
>   the political manipulation such technology might entail.
>   What is a clone?
>   A clone is an organism, or group of organisms, derived from
>   another organism by an asexual (nonsexual) reproductive process.
>   The word has been applied to cells as well as to organisms, so
>   that a group of cells stemming from a single cell is also called a
>   clone. Usually the members of a clone are identical in their
>   inherited characteristics --- that is, in their genes --- except for
>   any differences caused by mutation. Identical twins, for example, who
>   originate by the division of a single fertilized egg, are members
>   of a clone; whereas nonidentical twins, who derive from two
>   separate fertilized eggs, are not. Besides the organisms known as
>   procaryotes (the bacteria and blue-green algae), a number of other
>   simple organisms such as most protozoans, many other algae, and
>   some yeasts, also reproduce by cloning, as do certain higher
>   organisms, for example, flatworms and plants such as the
>   dandelion.
>   Through recent advances of genetic engineering,
>   scientists can isolate an individual gene (or group of genes) from
>   one organism and grow it in another organism belonging to a
>   different species. The species chosen as a recipient is usually
>   one that can reproduce asexually, such as a bacterium or yeast.
>   Thus it is able to produce a clone of organisms, or of cells, that
>   all contain the same foreign gene, or genes. Because bacteria,
>   yeasts, and other cultured cells can multiply rapidly, these
>   methods make possible the production of many copies of a
>   particular gene. The copies can then be isolated and used for the
>   purposes of study (for example, to investigate the chemical nature
>   and structure of the gene) or for the purposes of medicine and
>   commerce (for example, with a view to making large quantities of a
>   useful gene-product such as insulin, interferon, and growth
>   hormone). This technique is called cloning, because it uses
>   clones of organisms or cells. It has great economic and medical
>   potential and is the subject of active research. Identical-twin
>   animals may be produced by cloning as well. An embryo in the early
>   stage of development is removed from the uterus and split, then
>   each separate part is placed in a surrogate uterus. Mammals such
>   as mice and sheep have been produced in this way.
>   Another development has been the discovery that a whole nucleus,
>   containing an entire set of chromosomes, can be taken from a cell
>   and injected into a fertilized egg whose own nucleus has been
>   removed. The division of the egg brings about the division of the
>   nucleus, and the descendant nuclei can, in their turn, be injected
>   into eggs. After several such transfers, the nuclei may become
>   capable of directing the development of the eggs into complete new
>   organisms genetically identical to the organism from which the
>   original nucleus was taken. This cloning technique is thus, in
>   theory, capable of producing large numbers of genetically
>   identical individuals. Such experiments have been successfully
>   carried out with frogs and mice, but so far the cloning of higher
>   mammals beyond an early embryonic stage has not been possible.
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