John K Clark (
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 22:26:06 -0800 (PST)


With current methods of cloning you still need a mother, but their are
probably other ways to do it. Standard recipe to clone a human:

1) Take an egg cell from a female and remove all the DNA from the nucleus.
2) Take a cell, any cell except a red blood cell, from the person you want to
clone and put it in a test tube for 5 days.
3) Only feed the cell 5% of the food it normally uses so it goes into a state
of quiescence.
4) Place the sleeping cell next to the egg that has been robedof its DNA.
5) Give the 2 cells a small jolt of electricity so they merge and watch them
6) When they reach the 8 or 16 cell stage transfer them to the womb of the
host mother.
7) Wait 9 months.

Sperm is in no way involved in any of this, as far as test tube reproduction
is concerned men are as obsolete as vacuum tubes. Perhaps women are not
needed either, an animal's womb might work, already horses have given birth
to test tube zebras. As for a human egg cell, as many as 7 million could be
gotten from the ovaries of a human female embryo, John Eppig at the Jackson
Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine has done it in mice. A human egg might not
even be needed, in an editorial in the same issue of "Nature" that announced
the cloning results, they say it would be interesting to know if a human egg
cell is really needed to clone a person, one from an animal such as a cow
might work. Of course, then the human clone would have cow mitochondria DNA,
but that might not be a problem.

The Senate hearing on cloning was on C-span today, with one exception
everyone was screaming about how evil human cloning would be, even Ian Wilmut,
the man who invented the technique. By far the most interesting remarks came
from Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, he said he disagreed with the
president's decree on this subject and he didn't think he had the
constitutional authority to do it, then he said:

"This has enormous potential for good, There should be no limits on human
knowledge, none whatever. To those like President Clinton who say we can't
play God, I say OK, fine, you can take your side alongside Pope Paul V who
in 1616 tried to stop Galileo, they accused Galileo of trying to play God
too. [...] I don't think cloning is demeaning to human nature, to attempt
to limit human knowledge is demeaning. It's not legitimate to try to stop
cloning. What nonsense, what utter, utter nonsense to think we can hold
up our hand and just say "stop". Cloning will continue, the human mind will
continue to inquire into it. Human cloning will take place and it will take
place in my lifetime, and I don't fear it at all. I want to be on the side
of the Galileos and those who say the human mind has no limits, rather than
trying to stop something that's going to happen anyway."

I has a strange feeling when I head him talk, it was like the words were
coming out of my mouth, it made me think about how important genes are to
personality, for although I have never said one word to the man and have
never even seen him in person, Senator Harkin is my cousin.

My Mom always said Harkin's father was the stupidest man in the family and a
total embarrassment. Surprisingly despite these excellent qualifications he
did not go into politics, but his son did. That branch of the family still
causes me embarrassment, I don't like being related to a politician, but I
must admit he made me proud today.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i