Re: Count sheep, anyone?

Loren Haarsma (lhaarsma@OPAL.TUFTS.EDU)
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 17:28:16 -0500 (EST)

Bill Frix wrote:

> One of the "motives" for cloning is for replacement body parts, even
> to the extent of replacing the brain of a clone with the brain of
> the original (whole body replacement).

I doubt if anyone in today's society, outside a tiny fringe, would
approve of growing clones to maturity for body parts. I could be wrong;
I hope not.

Here's a scenario which seems much more probable: using cloning
techniques to grow fetal-like tissue for medical applications. Already,
fetal tissue is being experimented with as a treatment for certain
medical conditions (e.g. for re-growing damaged brain cells). It could
be argued, medically, that the best tissue for this would be tissue with
identical DNA to the patient. So, take DNA from one of the patient's
cells, treat it and insert it into an ennucleated donated human egg
cell, induce it to start dividing, grow it in vitro for a while, and
transplant the appropriate cells back into the patient.

I would be surprised if this sort of thing *isn't* tried within the next
few years.

Do you have any problems with such a procedure? I can think of a few.
Does anyone wish to help articulate them?

Loren Haarsma