Re: Possible Telomere Shortening in Clones

Damien Broderick (
Thu, 27 May 1999 21:30:04 +0000

>Scientists: Cloned sheep Dolly has 'old' DNA
> May 26, 1999
>Web posted at: 6:10 p.m. EDT (2210 GMT)
>LONDON (Reuters) --

>The research could be particularly important in sequential cloning --
>cloning a clone of a clone -- which could lead to progressive shortening
>of telomeres.
>But Coleman and his colleagues said problems, if they do arise, may not
>be insurmountable. Scientists can use embryonic cells for cloning and
>could also cut the cell time in culture which could reduce telomere

Or - d'oh! - telomerase could be used to normalize the chromosomes before ignition and liftoff. Or an hTERT package (human telomerase reverse transcriptase, the catalytic component of telomerase) could be inveigled in to *ensure* that telomerase stays active and kicking in all cells in the new beastie, which might therefore become immortal at a blow - until it dies of cancer, of course. But we need to fix cancers anyway...

Funny how these just-next-step extrapolations are always missing from news reports (and possibly from the mouths of cautious scientists).

Damien Broderick