News Stories

Cloning the Dead

In the past, a group called Cloneaid said it had clonedhuman beings, but they never proved it. Most scientists saythat, because of the way our cells divide, humans can't becloned. Now a medical researcher claims he's created clonesfrom dead people.

Shaoni Bhattacharya writes in New Scientist that researcherPanayiotis Zavos, of the Kentucky Center for ReproductiveMedicine, fused the cells of dead people with empty cow eggs.

One problem with the cloning of mammals is that it does notproduce the same kind of results as regular reproduction.For instance, although Dolly the cloned sheep looked normal,her body was actually the same "age" as the body of thesheep she was cloned from. This caused her to developage-related arthritis while still young and to die muchearlier than normal. Scientists believe that any human clonethat survived would be at risk of seriousbirth defects.

Zavos used cells were from a dead 18-month-old boy, but theembryos survived only until the four-cell stage. He alsoused blood and other tissues from an 11-year-old girl whowas killed in a car crash. Her parents kept the material intheir home refrigerator until it was delivered to Zavospacked in dry ice three days later. The third clone camefrom a 33-year-old man whose tissues were harvested in themortuary immediately after death. Zavos says the second twoembryos grew to the 64-cell stages, so they are "definitelytransferable embryos which can yield a viable pregnancy."

We'd all like to peek into the future. The good news is thatwe can learn to awaken and empower our natural divinatoryabilities and get a better perspective on life'sperplexities, if we follow the advice of thekitchenwitch.

Photo Credits: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

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