Re: The Cloning Debate (again)
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 21:26:05 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 11 Jan 1998, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> >Tinkering with human DNA to make Ubermenschen, or microcephalic clones for
> >transplants is not viable with the shotgun genetic engineering approach we
> >are now limited to.
> I agree. My prediction for clones is that Dolly and other current clones
> will succumb to rapid aging and die of old age at roughly the same time as
> their parent. DNA has telomeres on the end of them that act as null-genes.
> The ends of the DNA get lost through copying. More and more of the
> telomeres are lost through repeated copying, until finally real genetic
> information gets lost. I think this is the cause of old age and cancer. A

Why not add new telomeres? People already make artificial chromosomes
(YACs) with

> clone's DNA copy that comes from an adult animal starts off with a reduced
> telomere set. It is already advanced toward the genetic loss that I think
> causes old age. Thus, a cloned cell has the same number of replications
> left as did the original cell. No increase of lifespan is imparted to the
> clone with current technology.

Considering the explosion of mitotic activiy during embryonic
developement, I'd think the lifespan would decrese (unless new telomeres
were inserted as I sugested), if telomeres were the only factor. How's
Dolly's health?

Michael Bowling