Tag Archives: cloning

That is Not a Fuzzy Elephant

It seems that we keep intersecting with science fiction in our real lives, and I keep finding DNA and clone stories.  (You can read the one about glow-in-the-dark cats here.)  I’ve put together a clone mashup for you.  I still can’t believe that I didn’t post this this morning!

It must be Tuesday.

A Mammoth project and the half-life of DNA…

A month ago, Russian scientists announced that they found “well-preserved woolly mammoth fragments” in Siberia. They are testing the bone marrow, hair, and soft tissues to see if there are any living cells left.

Did anyone read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton?  How about the movie based on the novel by Steven Spielberg?

Yes, I know that mammoths are not anything like the carnivorious Tryannisaurus Rex.  (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) And, yes, it would be very cool to see a real, live fuzzy mammoth walking around on the frozen white tundra somewhere.  I’d like a free lunch as much as the next person, but we all know that there’s always a cost when science meddles.

by Shannon Esposito via WANA Commons

Interestingly enough, Nature.com posted an article earlier this month about a study that has determined the half life of DNA is 521 years, which means 6.8 millions years is the maximum length of time DNA might hold together.

That means no Tryannisaurus Rex clones running wild on an island in a “safe” enclosure, since they died out ten times as many years as that.  Whew!  *wipes brow*

The mammoths could still be a possibility, but we won’t know for months if the scientists find anything viable.  With no clear purpose, I’m not sure what kind of life a cold-loving animal would have in our world today.  Where are they going to keep it?  Won’t it be sad all by itself?  (I saw Ice Age--that animated mammoth wanted a family.)

Cloned horses with a purpose…

To bring it a little closer to home, check out this news video about cloned competition horses in Texas.   😀

One of the horses was a clone of a competition horse that couldn’t be bred (the reason wasn’t given), so the clone will give the horse’s qualities to its own offspring.  What?!

The cloned horse will mother the children of the parent horse.  Huh?!

The identical twin clone horse will be bred to have the equivalent offspring of the identical twin donor horse.  I think, maybe.  Sort of.

To their credit, they recognized the clone horses as different from the “parent” horses.  And the horses are all gorgeous.

But wait there’s more…

Multiplictiy film poster

One more thing (I promise I’ll leave cloning alone for a little while).  Everytime I joke that I need a clone, I always think about the silly movie that starred Michael Keaton (after he was Batman): Multiplicity.

It’s a great reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  Every new clone was exponentially less intelligent (more stupider?) than the last clone.

Needless to say, he gets into crazy trouble when his clones get him fired and make his wife mad at him (she doesn’t know about them…she just thinks he’s crazy).

Of course, my own clones would be smarter than that. (Just nod your head in agreement.)  They would do the stuff that I don’t want to do.  I’ll keep working and doing family stuff.   Do you see the flaw in my logic?

If my clones are really me, then wouldn’t they hate avoid doing windows (or bathrooms or toilets) just as much as I do?  They would completely ignore the spiderwebs way up in the skylight because a step ladder isn’t tall enough to help reach them.  Their piles of “stuff” on any available horizonal, flat surface would probably lead to clonicide.  That would probably be a really big mess that I’d have to clean up, since I bet the clones wouldn’t vaporize into dust like Spider-Man’s poorly made clones did.  Ewww.

No more dreams about cloning myself.  I’ll just have to wait around to see if any woolly mammoths get recreated.  Perhaps their purpose could be to wash my windows for me. Or, they could use their long trunks to get down those spiderwebs in the skylight.  Hmmm….

I’d love to hear what you think.  The comment box is always open.  🙂

 My quick #ROW80 update:

  • The back garden beds are still waiting for clean up.
  • Work out and eat better.  Food does not define me.
  • I’m a NaNoWriMo Rebel–finish the WIP and start editing. 15-20K is the goal.
  • Blogging class is in full swing (WANA International).  The Logline class was awesome–I highly recommend it.
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A Forever Pet…Not So Much

A little over a decade ago, Texas A&M University cloned a cat.  That cat, appropriately named Copy Cat, is still alive and well (at least at the time of the report when she turned 10 years old).  She has a great life and a great home.

But was she a carbon copy of her donor mother cat?  Not at all.  She looks nothing like her “mother.”  You can read the AP article here.

It’s Tuesday, so that means TINSTAAFL Tuesday.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Check out my other TINSTAAFL Tuesday posts about DNA manipulation: Welcome to Gattica and Tracking Pooch’s Poo.

When animal cloning seemed to be on the horizon, many people wanted to store tissue samples of their beloved pets so they could recreate that same animal later after the dog or cat passed over the rainbow bridge.  The company called Genetic Savings & Clone (catchy, huh?) were ready to store genetic material and eventually produce clones for $50,000.  Keep in mind, there is no promise that the resulting cat will be anything like the original.  It might look the same, but it probably won’t act the same.

Um, hello, there are some pretty incredible shelter cats that would love to have nice homes at a fraction of the price. My sister-in-law found two adorable kittens that need homes now.

The company closed in 2006 due to the lack of demand for cloned cats.  Evidently, the business was not sustainable.  Well, no surprise there.

I just found this other article about cloned cats that glow!  South Korean scientists modified the DNA of cloned cats so they glowed red in ultraviolet light.  More recently in the US, a cat was cloned–he glows green.  Take a look at this video:

Much of the latest research that is going on now is in the direction of cloning endangered animals, rather than resurrecting dead pets.  I’m not sure how making them glow has anything to do with saving a species, but I have a great idea for a science fiction story in the works now.

Just remember:  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  😉