(fwd) NEW: HUXLEY-L - Discussions on human cloning and Aldous Huxley
Mar 11, 1997 11:51 PM
by Bee Brown
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
>HUXLEY-L on email@example.com 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
> 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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