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Scientists Have Re-Cloned Mice To the 25th Generation 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-locate-jango-fett dept.
derekmead writes "Dolly's mere existence was profound. It was also unusually short, at just six years. But scientists in Japan announced yesterday they have succeeded in cloning mice using the same technique that created Dolly with more or less perfect results: The mice are healthy, they live just as long as regular mice, and they've been flawlessly cloned and recloned from the same source to the 25th generation. Researchers claim it's the first example of seamless, repeat cloning using the Dolly method—known as "somatic cell nuclear transfer" (SCNT)—in which the nucleus from an adult source animal is transferred to an egg with its nucleus removed. Until recently, the process was fraught with failures and mutations. But the team led by Teruhiko Wakayama, whose results were published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell, was able to create 581 clones from the same original mouse. Scientists, including Dolly's creator, have long felt the process was still too unstable—and too wasteful of precious eggs, given the failure rate—to be used on humans any time soon. But perhaps it's not so far off, after all."
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Scientists Have Re-Cloned Mice To the 25th Generation

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  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Friday March 08, 2013 @03:33PM (#43119221) Journal

    The only thing greater than me, would be to have 12 clones of me. Hopefully they also have a compact clone model, so I can call him "mini-me."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're so wrong. There are certain women that should be cloned for people like me with no personality that have no ability to get girls on our own.

      • A statement emblematic of so many issues, but I'll choose to respond with snark:

        What makes you think a clone would ever go out with you?

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:02PM (#43119585) Journal

          A statement emblematic of so many issues, but I'll choose to respond with snark:

          What makes you think a clone would ever go out with you?

          Hasn't bad sci-fi taught you anything? Despite being genetically identical to humans, because they are, clones mysteriously exhibit a creepy lack of free will and/or near-identical personality to the original(despite a developmental history that includes no life experience other than 'grow to apparent age of ~20 years with alarming speed in tube full of medical fluid'), perfect for producing armies of robo-hitlers or servile sex kitten harems!

          It's probably because they only get allocated one soul per genome or something, couldn't make any less sense than the answers usually provided....

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I assumed that usually had to do with clones not being treated like people and being raised in some very sheltered environment where they are brainwashed or whatever.

            Of course, there's also the idea that increasing the proportion of [heterosexual] women in the population improves the odds for [heterosexual] men.

          • by timeOday (582209)
            I think the correct answer is that "clone" has come to mean "delayed-time identical twin" when it was previously intended more literally. In the Stepford Wives, for example, they were robots made to look just like the women they replaced (which DNA "clones" will not). Most pedants today will argue that it's silly to depict "clones" as the same in personality, since DNA doesn't fully determine personality. But I would argue that this just shows the word "clone" is being abused because DNA replication does
          • It's probably because they only get allocated one soul per genome or something, couldn't make any less sense than the answers usually provided....

            Hmm... that neatly explains the "evil twin" trope...

          • You had me at "servile sex kitten harems". I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
      • "You're so wrong. There are certain women that should be cloned for people like me with no personality that have no ability to get girls on our own." Are you talking about asexual nuns? You don't need cloning to find some of these.
    • by cod3r_ (2031620)
      They need to figure out how to configure the clones with mostly robotic parts so you don't have to feed them and can turn them off..
    • by jovius (974690)

      Yeah, now you would only need to replicate all of the growing up with the same parents + experiences and still you would end up with strange people just looking like you. Could make a nice bunch anyway.

  • Copyright (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Friday March 08, 2013 @03:33PM (#43119223) Homepage Journal

    I know this is sorta trollish, I just thought it was interesting too
    There's no copyright for DNA. Someone could take a skin-swab from you, and clone you, without your permission. If they did, would you feel your rights had been violated?

    • by MasseKid (1294554)
      BRB... Need to go trademark myself....
      • But if I copy a MasseKid, you still have a MasseKid. So according that sacred slashdot principle you shouldn't have any say over the matter.

    • No, why would I?

      • Well, I'm sorta in your camp, but many people consider their genes part of their identity. "Genes+experience=person" kind of equation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So, without experience, it isn't "you"... QED... no problem.

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      I know this is sorta trollish, I just thought it was interesting too
      There's no copyright for DNA. Someone could take a skin-swab from you, and clone you, without your permission. If they did, would you feel your rights had been violated?

      No copyright (yet) but there is patent.

      Someone could skin-swab you, clone you, patent the process with your DNA. I don't think they could sue you, but they could charge you for any unauthorized reproduction (children).

      • by mcmonkey (96054)

        No copyright (yet) but there is patent.

        Someone could skin-swab you, clone you, patent the process with your DNA. I don't think they could sue you, but they could charge you for any unauthorized reproduction (children).

        BTW, while I'm sure that scenario is unrealistic and display ignorance of patents and biology, given what we've seen from gene patents and folks like Monsanto, I'm sure we're not far off from the day when someone receives gene therapy and gets sued when patented genes are passed down to off-spring.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by spongman (182339)

        wouldn't your conception be prior art?

    • Have you seen me? Let's just say, that's not going to be a problem.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      A clone is a different living orgamism. It is not you any more than an identical twin.

      Keep your panties on, your rights are irrelevent to the existence of a clone.

      People are more than genetic material alone. Your life experiences define you, your genetics only influence the rest.

      All that's happened is you suddenly have a potential organ donor

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      I know this is sorta trollish, I just thought it was interesting too There's no copyright for DNA. Someone could take a skin-swab from you, and clone you, without your permission. If they did, would you feel your rights had been violated?

      As tens of thousands of geeks had the same thought at that very moment, "how do I get some Natalie Portman DNA?"

    • Which "me" are you referring to, original me or copy me? And what if they disagree? Both are mature competent adults, so whose opinion holds sway?
    • by bancho (621456)
      I think using DNA as evidence in court would become problematic. What if the clone was a psycho? Conversely, what if the clone were a sane upstanding person and the DNA donor were a serial killer?
      • by Zordak (123132)

        I think using DNA as evidence in court would become problematic. What if the clone was a psycho? Conversely, what if the clone were a sane upstanding person and the DNA donor were a serial killer?

        What if your identical twin is a psyco serial killer and you're an upstanding citizen? It just means that the DNA comes from one of the two of you.

    • There is a copyright on DNA. Many of the HIV drugs out now are based on the gene sequencing of several African prostitutes that had natural immunity to the disease. Their DNA was sequenced and then copyrighted by the drug companies in question with no reimbursement to the prostitutes what-so-ever.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      No.

      Clones aren't you. They wouldn't belong to you, and they won't have the life experiences of you.

    • I'm afraid to say, but there are loads of gene patents out there. SO yes, half your body belongs to some kind of corporation or another, and hence so will your clones (with the added bonus that the cloning technique itself probably has been patented a million times over)
    • by Arthurio (1392181)
      Am I the only one who would be more than ok with this happening? I'd be fascinated. If I could see how that person grows up I could get so many answers to interesting questions. For example common things that are partly or completely attributed to genetics such as IQ, body weight, height etc. But also what kind of interests would that person develop, what kind of tastes, would there be any similarities in terms of personality. What could be wrong with a several decades younger clone living somewhere else
    • by giorgist (1208992)
      OK what if that clone somehow gets your memories as well. Who has the right to your property then ?
    • ...how my parents feel is another.
      Genetically my clone is their son. Do *they* have any rights or obligations towards him?

    • by Kaenneth (82978)

      What if the clone gets someone pregnant, and a DNA test 'proves' you are the father, and therefore on the hook for child support?

      What about child support for your own clones? you couldn't just abandon them...

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      I always wondered if you were to have sex with a clone of your self, is that gay or just masturbation?

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      Strange, I coulda SWORE a bunch of pharma companies were copyrighting various strains of DNA that they were playing with.
  • Now to get it working in humans.
    • by plover (150551)

      Now to get it working in humans.

      Why? I don't know anyone who is so perfect they're worth making a clone of.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        > Why? I don't know anyone who is so perfect they're worth making a clone of.

        Imagine 1000 clones, living in different environments. Monitored by scientists. What we could learn from that.

        Or if we just want to have a duplicate of someone... How about Gauss? Tesla? Darwin? Newton? Or someone who is still alive and a bit like them.

        Or how about me? I'm not perfect, but I know now what I'm good at. And I know what I wish I had learned earlier in my life to be even better. What if I could teach my clone to be

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Well, one thing would be to clone someone without a brain, for parts.

    • Clones are just as good as an identical twin. Only possible separated by age.

      It is not like Sci-Fi where you have a body ready to load your consciousness in so you can live forever. It would be a Unique Human Being with just happens to have the same genetic code, but would be a different person.

    • by Millennium (2451)

      Widespread cloning would be really, really bad for the gene pool.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No kidding. Just ask the Asgard.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        We have clones, why do we need a gene pool?

        • by Millennium (2451)

          For the same reasons organisms do: on a biological level, genetic variation is a big part of how we can adapt to changing circumstances.

        • Because when bacteria and viruses keep getting better at killing us we need the random genetic mutations to help us survive. Look at banana colonies that have collapsed due to cloning of banana trees when a new disease came by and wiped out all the trees.

  • Well the Japs have always been very good at copying electronic tech. With Bio-tech, cloning is the new copying
  • Just what the planet needs.
    • Just what the planet needs.

      Given how expensive the process is likely to be, I'm not terribly concerned.

      Now, given how expensive the process is likely to be, I'm also not wildly interested, outside of some very niche applications and the value as pure science...

    • Meh. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Call me evil, but I'm less interested in full blown cloning than I am creating a sack of meat and replacement organs.

      Lose a kidney? I fear no rejection for I am fear incarnate! Also because cloned organs.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Friday March 08, 2013 @03:54PM (#43119493)

    But from the Wikipedia entry the summary itself links to:

    A post-mortem examination showed she had a form of lung cancer called Jaagsiekte,[15] which is a fairly common disease of sheep and is caused by the retrovirus JSRV.[16] Roslin scientists stated that they did not think there was a connection with Dolly being a clone, and that other sheep in the same flock had died of the same disease.[14] Such lung diseases are a particular danger for sheep kept indoors, and Dolly had to sleep inside for security reasons.

    • Dolly had to sleep inside for security reasons.

      Why? Were they afraid she was going to steal things from the other sheep? Was there a history of anti-social behavior in her family history (as shown here [youtube.com])?

      • I don't think they meant security from people or the other sheep, but predatory dogs. Kind of ironic that trying to protect her probably killed her.
        • I bet they did mean security from people. Plenty of anti-GMO folks out there who would have stolen (or just killed) the animal if they were given the chance. No, Dolly was not an example of GMO. Yes, people are that stupid.
      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Apparently Dolly just didn't like staying outdoors. It's called argylaphobia.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        that's where Mary went; Dolly was sure to go

  • I'd been hoping for a live action Clone Wars on Ice.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:09PM (#43119687)
    Large numbers of defective fetuses is what keeps human cloning from being a reality. Cloning also has the issue global warming has, the name is misleading. Instead of clone they should be called a genetic twin. Most assume the clone will look like you and have all the same characteristics. I'm sure some even think they'd have the same memories. A clone can be taller or shorter and It may look almost exactly the same but even identical twin have slight differences so family and friends can pick them out. The only hope of human cloning having a future is to get away from this carbon copy idea and explain to people how they will be unique and not a perfect copy.
  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:10PM (#43119693) Homepage
    What's with telomeres? That's all I have. And I expect this comment to disappear underneath a delugh of "Let's clone Natalie Portman" posts, but seriously, is this thing on? What's with telomeres and DNA end funtions and all this other shit we've been reading about here and all l the rest of the sites? Why is this viable and how does it relate to us?
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Telomeres can be regenerated with a telemorase enzyme, something our bodies can produce, but normally don't. I'd imagine that either the embryonic state naturally activates the regeneration (seems plausible, there's some serious cell division going on after all), or that at some point it's stimulated artificially.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telomere#Lengthening

    • by geekoid (135745)

      What? What are you asking?

    • Telomeres are the caps on the end of DNA sequences, similar to the plastic on the tip of a shoelace. It holds the DNA strand together and signals the end of the DNA. Over time the telomeres shorten and eventually the DNA unravels. It is thought that the shorten of the telomeres may play a roll in aging / cell death cycle.
    • ...of how telomeres work during cloning.

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/288/5466/586.summary [sciencemag.org]

      Science 28 April 2000:
      Vol. 288 no. 5466 pp. 586-587
      DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5466.586

      News of the Week

      CELL BIOLOGY
      In Contrast to Dolly, Cloning Resets Telomere Clock in Cattle

      Gretchen Vogel

      When researchers took a close look at the cells of Dolly, the cloned sheep, they found that her telomeres, the caps on the ends of the chromosomes, were shorter than normal. Because telomere length decreases with age, this was an indication that Dolly might age unusually quickly. But on page 665, a physician and his colleagues report that cells from calves that they cloned have telomeres that are longer than normal. According to the researchers, the findings suggest that tissues produced by cloning might last at least as long as the original cells--and perhaps longer.

  • The problem with human cloning is women produce too few eggs - just one a month. There's one thing that isn't cloned from the original cell: mitochondria. The clone gets them from the egg, not from the original donor. So, why not use rabbit eggs? After a few cell divisions, all proteins would have been replaced by human proteins anyway. All but those in the mitochondria. I wonder what would happen to the organism? We can try it first with monkeys and rabbits to see whether it works or not. I had this idea s
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      you have a misconception, women do not "produce one egg a month". A women is born with all the eggs she'll ever have in her ovaries. Normally one of them is released a month after puberty, but there are ways of stimulating the release of more or of getting more

      • you have a misconception, women do not "produce one egg a month". A women is born with all the eggs she'll ever have in her ovaries. Normally one of them is released a month after puberty, but there are ways of stimulating the release of more or of getting more

        Sheeps and rabbits "convert more eggs to maturity" in each cycle than humans. Better now? When I had the idea of xenocloning I had just read an article saying that egg availability was one of the main barriers to human cloning. She-rabbits are also "born with all the eggs she'll ever have in her ovaries". I think that's true of all female mammals. Maybe the eggs must be mature (complete meiosis I and II and segregation of polar bodies) to be used in cloning. I don't know. Do you know?

  • Moon mining and huge advances in cloning announced on the same day.... Maybe Duncan Jones was onto something? [imdb.com]

  • "I think so, Brain. But how do you ever fit the cheeses of the world inside the handles of this mechanic's screwdriver's set?" "NARF! (x581)"

  • HOW DO EGG YOLKS BECOME CHICKENS? (Internet Article) When you divide a cake, the parts are smaller than the original cake and the cake never gets bigger. When we were a single cell and that cell divided, the new cells were the same size as the original cell and we got bigger. New material had to come from somewhere. That new material came from food. The sequence in our DNA directed our mother's food, we received in the womb, to become new cells forming all the tissues and organs of our body. Read my Interne
  • Onward, to cloning neanderthal women.
  • Mice, unlike our favorite animals - humans, dogs, cats, and horses, have active telomerase. That means that repeatedly cloning them is no great challenge.

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