Re: cloning protection technology

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2001 - 13:00:11 MDT

Wei Dai asked:
> I wonder if we might see anti-cloning technology that actually would work.
> For example a genetically engineered self-destruct mechansism that
> causes a cell's DNA to be wiped as soon as it is detached from the body.
> How feasible would this be?

I think its fairly easy. You already have the apoptosis
program built into the cells. That cuts up the DNA
rather quickly (less than an hour I'd guess -- Google
would probably tell you). All you need is a detector
that could be keyed off of some set of changes such
as low glucose, low O2, low oxygen, or detachment
from the extracellular matrix. I suspect there
are enough pre-built components that can sense
these things that you could workup a relatively
foolproof set of switches with a dozen or so genes.

> Perhaps another way to prevent cloning is to make
> sure each cell only has the genes necessary for it
> to function, instead of the whole genome. Then, to
> clone someone you would have to obtain a cell from
> each of his organs.

I proposed something like this with my designer
chromosomes at Extro4. Ideally you want organ
specific stem-cell designs because less DNA means
you expend less resources copying DNA useless for
the production of a specific organ, thus you can
grow replacement organs faster.


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