Re: Human Cloning: The Trade-In Strategy

Damien Broderick (
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 14:49:02 +1000

At 02:23 AM 2/24/97 -0500, Curt wrote:

>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.

I'm responding to this thread half a day late, as always, being on the wrong
side of the planet. So ten other people have probably made the same point
already. But I had to add: not to mention telomere degradation in adult
cells. Presumably poor little Dolly is some years closer to the Hayflick
limit than her woolly playmates, and will keel over earlier. (Not that this
matter with lamb chops on the hoof. But I wouldn't wish to be grafted into
a pre-aged clone. So we'll have to retain our own embryo samples after all.
Um, not `we', a tad late for that - our kids.)

Damien Broderick