Re: NEWS: "Embryo Cloning Breakthrough"

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 08:59:29 MST

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001, Damien Broderick wrote:

> Perhaps not as much `potential for harmful gene penetrance' as one might
> expect.

The point is that at the early embryonic stage you have no idea
whether a significant fraction of the genes will function as
required for the development of various cell types. I've heard
it said that at least ~1/3 of the genes are required for the
"development" of an organism. Until you've run down the "pre-flight"
check list you have no idea which will work and which will not.

And you certainly can't check genes like those involved in sexual

I think we had best get used to the idea that this is unlikely
to be a really reliable method anytime soon. It will be a guessing
game until we can extract one of the cells and sequence the entire
genome. And interpreting that information will require a pretty
robust understanding of the genome and the effects of various
mutations. It seems unlikely we will have that capability and
knowledge in this decade at least.


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