Re: Human Cloning: The Trade-In Strategy
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 02:23:11 -0500 (EST) (Hal Finney) writes:

>The innervation patterns between the brain and
>the muscles and sense organs is presumably at least partially dependent
>on a lifetime of usage patterns.

Correction (kinda): The innervation patterns are critically dependent on
interaction between tissue and nerve, mostly in the womb and very early
childhood. No interaction, no useful mapping. The genes are short of the
necessary information to specify all connections, by many orders of

Also, identical genes do *not* generate identical body patterns. Very
similar on the macro level, yes, but on a cell-by-cell level quite different.
You couldn't switch brain parts even of identical twins from the same womb.

>The clone won't have the same
>brain/body interface as the person.

Nope. You'd have to microsurgically attach every optic and auditory, and
many tactile, nerve cells, individually. Some won't match up to the new body
plan and will be useless, dying shortly after the transplantation. Some
systems do regrow on their own - I know the pain system does. But most

"Replacement bodies" is not an impossible task, but it's not near-term

One serious problem with serial cloning is that cells accumulate genetic
errors with time. I think the rate is about one mutation to active genetic
material per generation. So any cell from your body would have at least a
few dozen genetic errors, all of which get inherited by the clone. Part of
the point of sexual reproduction is to clear all this mess up.