January 24th, 2018


Hard Things

Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

Cloning Advances

A team in China has cloned monkeys. There are some bobbles in the article, though ...

The two clones, born 51 and 49 days ago, were created from a fetus’s cells; so far, the scientists have not been able to make the tricky procedure work when they used cells from adult macaques.

Cloning pioneers said the monkey clones represented, as Dr. Robert Lanza put it, “an impressive breakthrough, which overcomes the last major hurdle in the field.

Those two parts contradict each other. Obviously, remaining hurdles include producing healthy clones from adult samples, and cloning humans. Which brings us to ...

co-author Mu-ming Poo of the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai told reporters, the technique “could be applied to humans” — something he said his team has no intention of doing and sees no reason for.

Among the many obvious reasons are money, personal interest, politics, and Because Science.  Jesus, people, read the literature about your field.  Somebody's baby dies and the parents want you to make them a new one and will pay you oodles of cash to make it happen.  Somewhere, somewhen, a team is going to take that deal, almost certainly in secret.  The "first" cloned human will probably be more like the fiftieth.  Hell, there are already people cloning their pets.  This is not necessarily a good idea, but people are doing it.  I'm kind of surprised the human break hasn't happened yet -- or if it has, someone's good at keeping secrets.