Re: BIOTECH: Cloning: Buyer Beware

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 02:21:03 MDT

At 04:29 PM 7/11/01 -0700, Robert Bradbury wrote:

>As a point of interest, there is an article in the July 6th 2001
>issue of Science:
> Humpherys, D. et al,
> "Epigenetic Instability in ES Cells and Cloned Mice"
> URL:

Local Oz news reports on work evidently announced last week, Dr Orly
Lacham-Kaplan's work at Monash University on parthenogenesis, if that's
what it is, haven't found details on the net so far. I couldn't understand
what's new from the brief reports, it just sounded like somatic transfer
cloning to me, but apparently it's much more zippy. Take an egg, squirt in
the nucleus from another cell, and ... a little mouse happens. Of course it
helps to use mouse eggs. Actually they haven't got that far yet, but if
it's not colonization of the host egg by the interloper, it sounds as if
the extra DNA is somehow being stripped down to two haploid components, one
of which recombines with the host cell's own haploid DNA to make an embryo
sans sperm. I think this will run afoul of genetic imprinting, which as
Robert mentioned is a bunch of codes that mummies and daddies mark the
teeny weeny baby thing with; you need all the extra coding from both sides
of the border, so just jamming two lesbians' haploid eggs together wouldn't
make an omelette. But this new work sounds like a sneaky (if dangerous)

Damien Broderick

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