Once More, With Feeling: New Benefits of Cloning Technology Applied in Brazil Pose Questions About What’s Next

(Author’s foreword: Back after a technical hiatus!  Turns out I was posting to my own personal journal.)

With the election behind us, citizens now have a confirmed list of names of those charged with the responsibility to legislate science in America.  New developments and applications of cloning technology around the world press the boundaries of what we might replicate next.

In Brazil, scientists are attempting to use their mad scientist skills to rejuvenate the Earth’s population of certain extinct animals.  As exciting as this might sound, the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, EMBRAPA, does not intend to release the animals back into the wild.  Duplicate subjects would be used for more controlled purposes, such as restocking the zoo population and better understanding the genealogy of species slated to leave this world due to a number of (sometimes man-made) factors.

Where Bio-Ethics come into play is the increasing sample-set of “species slated to leave this world” or those who have already left this world.  The Wooly Mammoth containing live cells found in Siberia is not likely to be cloned any time soon, but what if the carcass found in the arctic was the missing link instead?  Many states have outright banned the use of public monies for the purposes of Human cloning, but what if the next extinct or near-extinct species worth saving was a distant relative?  Is the legislation sufficiently clear on the definition of a human being?  How many chromosomes different must the clone-worthy be to avoid being a “human” by legal definition?  The answer (and void in the law) may have to wait until we find live tissue from early man.


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