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Scientists Move Closer to Human Therapeutic Cloning 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the send-the-therapeutic-you-to-work-day dept.
"Human therapeutic cloning has moved a step closer after U.S. researchers said they had successfully created embryonic stem cells from monkey embryos. Scientists told a stem cell research conference in Cairns this week that they had successfully created two batches of embryonic stem cells from cloned rhesus monkey embryos."
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Scientists Move Closer to Human Therapeutic Cloning

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  • If you're a Religious Conservative, which is worse:
    A) Human stem cells taken from humans
    B) Human stem cells taken from cloned monkeys
    C) Yes

    I'm guessing that they're going to go with C
    Mostly because I can't imagine they'll like cloned monkeys
    • by kennedy (18142)
      mod parent up.

      for the love of satan, PLEASE!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JoshJ (1009085)
      The only reason they oppose embryonic stem cells is because of the possibility of it affecting abortion case law.

      Of course, they'll likely decide this is the work of satan because it could maybe lend credence to "evilution".

      The *real* problem here is religion.

      "There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven."- Robert Green Ingersoll
      • by Kingrames (858416)
        There's a fundamental difference between religion and church.

        Pun intended.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Right. One causes the other.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Not quite... There's a fundamental difference between religion and spiritualism.
          • by hodet (620484)
            Agreed, religion is the politics of spirituality.
          • by Kingrames (858416)
            I've always defined religion as personal beliefs, where the "church" is an organized body of people out to preserve their political power.

            People call that "organized religion" and some think of it the same way they think of organized crime, really and truly it's just as bad as declaring a corporation as one entity instead of a collection of parts.

            I believe that churches are political and therefore evil, but they are filled with good people who have been misled into furthering the causes of hate, intolerance
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lady Jazzica (689768)
        No, you've got it backwards. The only reason some people support the use of embryonic stem cells is because of the possibility of it affecting abortion case law. Why not use adult stem cells, which have already been shown to be medically useful? The problem is that the pro-abortion lobby wants to use the issue of possible cures to get people to reject the humanity of human embryos. That's why you never hear embryonic stem cell research supporters talk about the benefits of adult stem cells: it doesn't f
        • Re:Which is worse (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @08:40AM (#19592911)
          It's the killing of a young human being.

          Actually, that is not the case. It's the destruction of a blastocyst, which is a compilation of 70-150 cells. These are often thrown out/discarded in fertility clinics. They are definitely not human. Here's a picture of one,

          http://www.iscr.ed.ac.uk/outreach/images/Human-bla stocyst.gif [ed.ac.uk]
          • by BigDogCH (760290) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @09:14AM (#19593269) Journal
            Oh the humanity!!!!

            That little glob could be the next OJ Simpson, or Professor Snape!

            If that is a human, than I think I may have just picked a human out of my nose this morning. Now I am going to find it, and call it Freddie.

            Every sperm is sacred! Save me Jebus!
            • by Torvaun (1040898)
              What the hell is sperm doing in your nose? Bad aim with the oral?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by XxtraLarGe (551297)
            GP should not be modded "Troll" or "Flamebait". They are giving a reasoned argument in response to somebody else on the other side of the issue. This shows a true lack of intellectual integrity on the part of some moderators here. In order to maintain internal consistency, pro-life people must be opposed to the destruction of humans in the earliest stages of development, and pro-choice people must be in favor of destruction of human life in the earliest stages. You may like to argue that a baby is just a zy
            • by broter (72865)
              "...You may like to argue that a baby is just a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or whatever stage of development it is in, but the truth of the matter is that there is no point in time scientifically where you can say that a fertilized egg is not a human being."

              The logical form you're using would mean that an acorn is an oak tree. In California, we have laws against cutting down or killing oak trees. If I crush a bunch of acorns, am I violating the law? A seed is not the same thing as the grown organism.
              • by dbrutus (71639)
                I highly doubt that the law prohibits mowing over 1 inch oak seedlings (anybody who has an oak tree and isn't religious about their lawn will have these occasionally) and thus acorn crushing should be just fine but if you'll link to the law, I'm willing to be educated on the matter.
            • by hesiod (111176)
              > there is no point in time scientifically where you can say that a fertilized egg is not a human being

              And using the exact same logic, there is no point in time scientifically where you can say that a fertilized egg is a human being
              • by dbrutus (71639)
                If you accept that slashdot contributors are human beings and that sperm/eggs are not, there must be a transition point where you go from not-human to human. The most logical point ends up being at fertilization as it gets you in the least logical trouble. Generally pleasing/clean logic is considered scientific evidence (especially if you listen to the string theorists and quantum mechanics folks).
          • "Actually, that is not the case. It's the destruction of a blastocyst, which is a compilation of 70-150 cells"

            While technically correct, I think he does have a point, after all if the blastocyst that was destined to become you were destroyed YOU would have never existed. I don't think exactly that you (after the fact) would want someone to go back in time and effect change such that your mother aborted you in retrospect, it's all too easy to dismiss pro-lifers as "irrational" but I think it's not the case
            • by hesiod (111176)
              > Why exactly does one need to abort a baby unless for medical reasons or the result of a criminals abuse?

              Since most of us are complex beings that can see more than what is directly in front of us, I can think of few reasons. The first to come to mind is for arguably ethical reasons: such as "I don't want to bring another life into this horrible world." I say "arguably" because if one believes such a thing, they should stop screwing, but that's something else entirely... So I guess that reason would b
          • by hesiod (111176)
            > http://www.iscr.ed.ac.uk/outreach/images/Human-bla [ed.ac.uk] stocyst.gif

            Aaaw, ain't he a cute little guy!?!?!? I'm gonna call him Frank!
          • by dbrutus (71639)
            And can I see your "I can define humanity" license please? The definition of humanity is not usually "doesn't look like a human to me" because it's entirely subjective and relegitimizes the stormtroopers who find that lots of broad categories of people aren't really human.

            At a time when you have high academics seriously discussing the legalization of infanticide, I'm all for pushing the definition as wide as possible just to be on the safe side. Unique genetic code and the potential to develop are a fit bul
        • Why not use adult stem cells, which have already been shown to be medically useful?
          Because thousands of embryos get thrown out everyday in fertility clinics, and I don't like things going to waste.
          • by dbrutus (71639)
            We don't experiment on condemned prisoners. We don't use PVS patients as parts banks, we don't grab inner-city urchins and run practice operations on them. "I don't like things going to waste" without being paired with a respect for the sanctity of life leads to all of the above practices either now (elsewhere) or in the past. It's an unsustainable argument.
            • We don't experiment on condemned prisoners. ...

              Well, I don't think anyone has a problem with condemned prisoners being organ donors...

              The diffence between prisoners and street urchins and whoever (PVS patients are a whole different issue that I really don't want to go into) and a embryo is that people have thoughts and feelings (and can feel pain) while embryos do not. An embryo at the stage where they can harvest stem cells is about as sentient as a skin cell. It also doesn't even have the potential

              • by dbrutus (71639)
                A lot of people have problems with condemned prisoners being organ donors starting with Amnesty International. I should have made myself more clear, though, that I meant executed prisoners. We purposefully spoil the meat of prisoners via lethal injection. The PRC purposefully preserves as much as possible, sometimes even prepping prisoners for post-mortem donation by injecting drugs to facilitate the process right before they shoot them.

                There is a medical condition that prevents some people from feeling pai
                • A lot of people have problems with condemned prisoners being organ donors starting with Amnesty International. I should have made myself more clear, though, that I meant executed prisoners. We purposefully spoil the meat of prisoners via lethal injection. The PRC purposefully preserves as much as possible, sometimes even prepping prisoners for post-mortem donation by injecting drugs to facilitate the process right before they shoot them.

                  I never really thought about condemned prisoners being organ donors.

                  • by dbrutus (71639)
                    ElleyKitten - Nobody uses the electric chair except Nebraska. The other 37 states with the death penalty all use lethal injection. Electrocution also makes bodies unsuitable for transplantation as you are cooking the flesh which is just as effective as poisoning it. You're just wrong on the facts.

                    The embryonic potential to develop into an independent adult does not depend on any future series of events actually happening. I recruit an infertile couple to become parents to a "snowflake baby" and a thawed emb
    • True, but what about a cloned monkey with five asses?
  • Keep in mind (Score:5, Informative)

    by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:26PM (#19590077) Homepage Journal
    Rhesus monkey stem cells may not be entirely compatible with human nuclei, so this by no means brings the human stem cell debate closer to an end.

    Cell workings differ slightly between species. Different proteins may be present, etc.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, as non-biologists, y'all seem to be missing the point.

      They have used 'emptied' egg cells and injected 'adult' nuclei. The young, messed-up embryos that resulted were dissected (split clump of cells into individual cells) and they were able to recover viable 'embryonic' stem cell lines which have totipotency and near immortality, in terms of continued cell division.

      The importance of this is important because (a) it is the first primate example and (b) it is from an adult nucleus. In the former, p
      • by dbrutus (71639)
        If your theory would be true, legislators would be voting against adult stem cell research. Some do, but it's not who you think. The embryonic stem cell supporters tend to dump on adult stem cell research funding and vice versa. There's been excellent recent news on adult stem cell totipotency with peer reviewed work recently being published. Instead of fighting over the moral question, if you care about getting quick therapies, why not cheerlead the adult cell researchers?
  • by Kingrames (858416) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:28PM (#19590101)
    Therapeutic Cloning?

    WTF is that supposed to mean?
    You're cloning yourself... to feel better?
    If you don't feel good, why clone yourself?
    • by niceone (992278) * on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:34PM (#19590151) Journal
      If you don't feel good, why clone yourself?

      To have someone to share the misery with?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kingrames (858416)
        All you really need to do to get company is to open up a cold can.
        's cheaper than therapeutic cloning, I'd imagine.
      • Therapeutic.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Thing is that, e.g. if you were predisposed to get Diabetes (i.e. to show its symptoms) at the age of 30, you'd have to wait 30 years for your clone to share its misery with you. Jokes aside you might need to wait a couple of year until your clone can share his/her kidney with you. A more useful approach would be to grow organs out of stem cells instead of full human beings which would create a host of new problems, e.g. visual identification in case of a crime committed ("It wasn't me! It was my evil twin
      • To have someone to share the misery with?

        a.k.a. marriage??
    • Personally, I always feel better after a good cloning. My wife is of a similar disposition. We try to manage three or four clonings a week.
    • So you can cut someone else to feel alive.
    • Re:Therapeutic? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @07:31AM (#19592443)
      The idea is that: You feel sad because you lost a leg. You have yourself cloned to create a new leg. You transplant the leg from the clone to yourself so you don't feel sad anymore. Providing, of course, that you can convince the clone to give up a leg for you.

      In real life there are more issues (not withstanding the moral issues if the clone is allowed to develop a brain). For instance, we are not purely a product of our genes. Otherwise identical twins would look identical until the moment they both suffered a heart attack and died. If you need a solid organ, it needs to be grown in a viable host. It's likely impossible using current (or near-future) technology to create a viable host that does not have brain activity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by StikyPad (445176)
        Woohoo, I can start smoking again! I'll just clone me a new lung when these ones go.
    • I personally want a clone so I can harvest his organs. What's a little suicide between copies?
    • by Torvaun (1040898)
      Close. But you're not cloning yourself.

      Mad Scientist: "Damn that jock who always picked on me in high school. If only he were here to see me now..."
      Mad Scientist: "That's it! I'll grow a clone from the DNA on this spitwad!"
      Mad Scientist: "It's ALIVE!!!"
      Mad Scientist: *Beats the clone to death with a tire iron.*
      Mad Scientist: "Whew, I feel so much better now."
  • can only be used by Monkey boy Steve Ballmer [google.com].

    It may one day be possible to do this with human beings. Until then animal testing is in order.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:36PM (#19590169) Journal
    A switch to using polarized light in labwork instead of dye and ultraviolet light traditionally used to identify cell chromosomes may have led to the breakthrough, ...

    So for years the scientists have been finding the chromosomes to transplant by:

      - Flooding the donor cell with a fluorescent dye that bonds to DNA, then

      - Shining ultraviolet light (i.e. ionizing radiation) on the cell, causing the dye to fluoresce (and also dump enough energy into the DNA molecule to break molecular bonds and produce free radicals in the nearby area).

    And then they wondered why, after they transplanted this DNA into the denucleated egg, the resulting cell didn't work right.

    Good grief!
    • by hitmark (640295)
      thats the problem of overspecializing. often one cant see the problem because one do not have the relevant knowledge. in this case it may well be simple for someone with experience in nuclear physics to spot the problems with the process. but for someone thats worked with biochemistry for the same amount of time, it may not be.

      modern society are a bit like machine, each individual have a very specific task to perform and are groomed for that task from a very early age. if everyone with knowhow about said ta
      • by bane2571 (1024309)
        So you're saying the plan to ship our telephone sanitizers out on the first space ship will cause us all to die of a virulent phone borne plague? Who'd a thunk it.
      • by Valar (167606)
        Yes, I'm sure with all the brilliant scientists who have worked in the field of genetics none of them have ever happened to take a chemistry or physics class. Never mind that these things are required, even for majors in bio sciences at most universities. Yes, I'm totally sure that you and your friend have solved an amazing puzzle via slashdot.

        Or, let us try a more reasonable theory:
        This technique sucks, but it works better than the known alternatives when it was developed. Science, particularly in its appl
    • That's an eye opener.

      For some reason this reminds me of many incorrect scientific conclusions of the past: spontaneous generation, flat earth, perfect geometry, etc...
      They all seemed to suffer from the same problem, bad methodology.

      Spontaneous generation, to detail one, was based on the extremely valuable scientific principle of observation. Unfortunately the lack of rigorous methods to perform a useful study meant that further understanding of life was not forthcoming for centuries.

      Ummm, I guess it would b
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RDW (41497)
      You've got this backwards - the people working in this field are fully aware of the effect of dye staining and UV on DNA. They don't stain the nucleus of the somatic cell, they stain the nucleus of the egg (to make it easy to get rid of). Supposedly the problem isn't DNA damage, but (perhaps) damage to unspecified 'programming factors' elsewhere in the egg.
      • You've got this backwards - the people working in this field are fully aware of the effect of dye staining and UV on DNA. They don't stain the nucleus of the somatic cell, they stain the nucleus of the egg (to make it easy to get rid of). Supposedly the problem isn't DNA damage, but (perhaps) damage to unspecified 'programming factors' elsewhere in the egg.

        Which brings up the question of how they get rid of ALL the DNA-binding die. In addition to the havoc it could wreak on the rest of the cellular machin
  • Right now, Republicans are leary of harvesting human clones for parts, and Democrats are all in favor of it, but just wait until someone makes $1 off of it. Then, the tables will turn.

    It's all going to start when someone figures out how to clone men but with giant penises, for easy transplant. Why compete over cars, houses, plots of land and computer upgrades when you can just go buy the real deal? In America, EVERY MAN will be a porn star. There will be billions of dollars made there.

    From there, we'll get on to using human skin and hair for clothing, and human bones as a proxy for ivory. At first, it will be a status symbol. You really could have a lampshade made out of human skin, or even a football for junior or a jacket for the mrs. But soon, with enough venture capital, human clones will be mass produced and harvested like so many sheep, and even more billions will be made.

    Eventually, there will be, within the USA alone, a 200 billion dollar a year industry dedicated to the production, harvest, and manufacturing goods based on harvested clones. At that point, just as you once saw liberals hail the progress of animal antibiotics and industrial farming and then turn to an imaginary better day of all natural organic everything, you'll see liberals lamenting the devaluation of the human body, whereas, conservatives will merely say they are free and supporting consumer demand. Then liberals will eventually say the masses are stupid for supporting a human cloning industry and demand federal action to slow it down or stop it, write thousands of books decrying it, and support an endlessly array of Democratic candidates that promise to reform it but never really do. In the meantime, conservatives will argue the cloning is natural, its our right to do so, and its part of God's plan anyway, and to support their position, they will dredge up every last salamder that can regrow its own tail, every asexually produced thing in nature, and every supporting phrase in the bible. Oh yes, Jesus was very much in favor of harvesting clones, if you know which 4 passages to read.
    • Thanks. Now I'm going to have nightmares.

      What did my therapist tell me to do?

      Oh, yeah, where's my clone?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DittoBox (978894)
      Whoa...Johnny, go take your meds man...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ChrisMaple (607946)
      I hope I'm not making a mistake by taking your post seriously...

      Cloning for parts will not be done by growing a whole new organism and hacking off whatever the originator wants. That would be an abomination that anyone of any political orientation could recognize. What will be done is that (non-embrionic) cells will be encouraged to grow the appropriate tissues or organs, without developing a nervous system. With this sort of technology, only some of the religious nut cases will still insist that a being w

    • You have an interesting point but you forget how fucking creepy it is. People don't like the thought of a human skin coat, let alone a lamp shade. It's just too fucked up. Now if you're talking organ donation.. well yea, I can dig that. We'll see that for sure and in the US it will obviously be based around greed not need.

      As for the porn star penis. Personally I'll stick with mine, I don't need some 12 foot dick only good for breaking coconuts in half with, any guy who isn't a complete ignorant fuck knows t
    • by Chaffar (670874)
      Slippery slope fallacy ? You don't say... Fun read though, especially towards the end :D
    • Love it. Like Planet of the Apes meets Soylent Green with a Matrix-y feel to it.

      Some notes:

      - Change "Right now" to "In a world where".
      - I'm hearing Lawrence Fishburne for the voice-over.
      - Got a villain in mind? Can the f/x guys do a fetus monster?

      I think we can get 200 mill from Paramount to get started.

      Thanks babe.
  • Let's get serious, (Score:4, Informative)

    by the_kanzure (1100087) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:47PM (#19590233) Homepage
    Five minutes of thoughtful searching brought up useful, important information for anybody willing to take these sciences and technologies seriously. The National Institute of Health (NIH) stem cell page [nih.gov] has some paper abstracts as well as listed universities with programs in these United States (and some online resources [neu.edu]). Useful sources of information at this bibliography re: human reproductive cloning [nap.edu], at Boston University [bu.edu] and this one [wa.edu.au]. CiteSeer popped up the paper on nuclear transfer / human cloning [psu.edu]. Apparently there's at least one dedicated research foundation [stemcellre...dation.org] out there.

    Granted, most of these links are preliminary- check those deep databases, like over at PubMed Central, for those detailed reviews of the state of the art. And just for kicks, one last link [bioinformatics.org] which (still) impresses me.
  • Bush's Braincells (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:58PM (#19590297) Homepage Journal
    Bush wants you and your people to die without stemcell therapy [google.com].

    Of course, he'll get any he wants, from some other country if that's necessary.
    • by RMH101 (636144) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @07:54AM (#19592587)
      from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/21/politics_s tem_cells_veto/ [theregister.co.uk]

      President Bush has used his veto to kill another bill that would have lifted some of the restrictions on research using human embryonic stem cells.
      The news has been greeted with dismay, but not surprise, by the scientific community.
      In announcing his use of the veto, Bush told reporters: "Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical."

      Um, hello George...presumably it's OK if it's for oil?

    • Won't someone think of the adults?
  • Whew!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by rts008 (812749) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @12:00AM (#19590305) Journal
    Damn good thing I like bananas, and trees, and Tarzan, and especially Jane!

    When the Labcoats attack you, prepare to fling the poo,
    Monkey see...Monkey do(doo)!
  • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @12:03AM (#19590329) Homepage Journal

    Oh, give me a clone
    Of my own flesh and bone
    With its Y-chromosome changed to X
    And when it is grown
    Then my own little clone
    Will be of the opposite sex.

    (Chorus)
    Clone, clone of my own,
    With your Y-Chromosome changed to X
    And when I'm alone
    With my own little clone
    We will both think of nothing but sex.
    -Randall Garrett, additional verses [commonplacebook.com] by Isaac Asimov

    Now can anyone accelerate the aging process? By the time she's 18 I could be dead.
    • by olman (127310)
      Having offspring with yourself?

      Talk about inbreeding.
  • You might like watching this video of nuclear transfer in mouse oocytes. http://www.jove.com/Details.htm?ID=116&VID=132 [jove.com] Pretty groovy, I think. On a side note, I take the findings of most stem cell scientists with a grain of salt. There is just too much hype and unlike molecular level sciences, it can be very hard to reproduce experiments.
  • "I feel like something is missing in my life. Like there's a hole I just can't fill." - Man
    "Oh, that sucks. Here, have a clone." - Therapist
    "Oh, I feel all better now! Thanks, Doc!" - Man

    Maybe not...
    • by compro01 (777531)
      not "full person" cloning. more like "clone a new kidney that is an exact genetic match for me so i don't need anti-rejection drugs".
    • Therapeutic cloning is the process of only creating stem cells, and stopping the further growth, which result in a human being.

      Once larger clusters (large meaning about 50,000 cells, which you could barley see with the naked eye) of stem cells are formed, they are either frozen, or implanted into a new host to "take on" roles in the host's body.

      The reason it's called Therapeutic cloning is because the only use for the cells is physical therapy. No actual human is being grown, just the building block ce

  • Let's weaken the gene pool some more. We already have people living to reproductive age with characteristics that 50 years ago nature would have 'selected against'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mh1997 (1065630)

      Let's weaken the gene pool some more. We already have people living to reproductive age with characteristics that 50 years ago nature would have 'selected against'.

      Posts like the one above always make me laugh because the poster always assumes they are part of the strong, smart, or whatever desired characteristic. Take your timeline back 1000 years, maybe your current traits would have been selected against.

      Have you ever gotten sick and taken an antibiotic, required stitches, or maybe have a broken bone

  • Real "Therapeutic Cloning" would be cloning Capt. Janeway and Seven Of Nine for me so I could get massages after long days at work.

    Now *THAT* would be therapeutic!
  • I guess we've evolved to the point where we can be intelligently designed...
  • The recent advance of creating stem cells from skin cells (using embryonic stem cells cultured in the lab from previously collected stem cells) suggests to me that there are a potentially large number of other methods to obtain/generate these cells that does not involve the destruction of viable human embryos.

    I have also found it interesting that embryonic stem cells, apparently, can be taken from umbilical cords and placental cells. Why is this ignored in research (or is it a case of a percentage of resear
  • Why does my clone smell like burning rhesus monkey?
  • Some one giving the right to create life for the entire purpose of destroying it.

    OR

    Some on rejecting the right to create life for the entire purpose of destroying it, and some doctors doing it anyways?

    Either way, creating life for the sake of destroying it is not moral, in my opinion. I'm not religious in any case, as I'm not a "believer", but as a father of two boys, and a person with respect to choice as well as life, I couldn't give something like this the go-ahead.

    A woman getting pregnant and choosing
    • by Renraku (518261)
      I bet your body can sustain other life. A lot of your digestive tract is other life.

      Parasites? Other life..etc.
  • ...to clone a rhesus!!

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