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  #26    
Old April 6th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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I just hope that we don't end up making more of a mess using this technology. Also they have yet to see if the Chicken born will be able to produce another Chicken...what if it turned out to produce a duck like her father...
Mm... think of the duck as an incubator. If I understood this correctly, the chicken's well... a chicken
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Old April 6th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Pretty much. There's no genetic mixing going on in terms of the genomes of the cells. I don't see it as a mess, really. Nothing's a mess as long as you know what's going on and can put it to good use.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Yup... this rates about 4/10 on my weird-****-o-meter.
The only thing i'm worried about with this would be the possibility of scientists completely screwing over the DNA of whatever they test/use this on.
Man is not meant to create life, other then to propagate our own kind.
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  #29    
Old April 10th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Scientists won't completely screw over the DNA of whatever they work on because 1. they're scientists, and 2. organisms with screwed up DNA tend to die. The mechanisms of gene modification is so well understood that you can learn it in Grade 11 biology. Compare that to quantum physics which you wouldn't learn in depth until you're in university.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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How would they help an extinct species survive once again anyway? Like bringing back Dodos and Mammoths? Don't see them doing anything like that... But maybe repopulating endangered species, like whales and tigers. I don't see how those older species would thrive in today's world.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:09 PM
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How would they help an extinct species survive once again anyway? Like bringing back Dodos and Mammoths? Don't see them doing anything like that... But maybe repopulating endangered species, like whales and tigers. I don't see how those older species would thrive in today's world.
Natural Reserves... etc.
Not to mention that the Earth itself hasn't changed, just some areas on the surface. If anything, minus pollution, the Earth is much safer now that it was in the past considering all the diseases humans have eradicated.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:18 PM
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The dodo died out because of invading species such as humans, dogs, cats and other animals that destroyed their nests. Wiki says they might have already been rare before this happened. Species can go through population crises, and it might just take a strong one to take them out for good. Sometimes a species that's already rare can die out "spontaneously" without any major external changes because it becomes difficult to search for mates and there just isn't enough members left to produce the next generation that survives disease/predation and so on.
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  #33    
Old April 10th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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imo if we're bringing back things we made extinct (or had a hand in making extinct), I can see how this can be a good thing.

Just don't be bringing back any Sabertooths or Mammoths. That was nature's course - natural selection - and there's no reason to do this.

Also, what kind of health complications would go along with this? Genetic weaknesses? I saw a thing on the Weather Network where French scientists were able to bring a species back from extinction using goats. It lived less than five minutes before it died. Is that not cruel? In order to perfect something like this, a lot of trials like this would have to occur, and I for one think that toying with things like this isn't humane or necessary. We barely have enough room for our own kind here; why are we wanting to introduce more species into a world where their natural habitat may not exist or may be threatened by humans.

It reminds me of people who have kids when they're on welfare. You can't even take care of yourself; why are you damning the child to that kind of impoverished lifestyle? It's not responsible.
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  #34    
Old April 10th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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I wouldn't say there's nature's course. Nature doesn't have a purpose. Natural processes are mechanistic and they don't pick and choose for an organism's that's better as if they were perfecting them or something, it's simply whatever is best for the time. It's a lot like the entertainment industry in that those who ride the trends (able to adapt) survive and the ones that don't can't. How is humans making something extinct any different from any other factor? To that animal I don't think it makes a difference. Humans using more land is just like climate changing changing their habitat. And humans hunting an animal out of existence is no more different than any other predator. Life is a game of survival, I don't think organisms differentiate between human and "natural" threats so it's misleading to suggest that some animals died out of "natural causes" versus unnatural ones. And all species have their natural habitat threatened by humans. Of course, we should make intelligent guesses and predict how an organism can fit into an ecosystem before we bring it back, but the point is that it's arbitrary to rule something out just because it went extinct. At least we can put them in zoos, or be able to study them in greater detail to understand extinct species and their relationship to living species. We could even set out reserves so we can study behaviour and make comparisons between lions and sabertooth tigers let's say. I think this opportunity would be well appreciated by paleotologists, ecologists, and other biologists.

And speaking of cruelty, mistakes like a goat that lives five minutes are only the first step. Like an engineer that builds a prototype, someone perfecting the science of cloning has to do it at least once, and then make it more effective. Progress only occurs when you do something over and over and learn from your mistakes or what you could be doing better. To give a possibly more morally dubious example, geneticists may knockout a gene from an animal because they have absolutely no idea what it does. Anything could happen to this animal, it might not even be able to form a fetus. But every trial and error takes humanity's collective understanding forwards. Drugs for HIV were tested on animals before humans. In fact all drugs have to go through animal testing before moving on to human testing. All the blockbuster drugs that you see advertised on TV or hear about on the news had to go through animal testing before moving on to clinical trials. Animal cruelty is a fact of life in science, and "cruelty" in nature is simply nature itself.
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  #35    
Old April 10th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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I'm no PETA member, but I'm not for testing drugs and chemicals on animals either. When God said take the land and everything on it, for it is yours, He didn't mean to mistreat animals; He meant that it is our responsibility to look after them and treat them humanely. Forcing bunnies to painfully endure different types of lotions, etc. on their eyes and face - notably, since they can't produce water to shield them from these effects - is cruel and inhumane, and they are not there to be test subjects as such. The same can be said of the goat or any other type of animal who is bred and dies, or bred and has difficulties, etc. The preliminary testing is horrible and cruel. I do not and will not agree that the "ends justifies the means" in this scenario because there is too much suffering that occurs to arrive at that "end." There has to be a balance - the sacrifice must equal the gain - and I do not believe that it is so in this case.

And for what it's worth, I don't agree with stepping on tent caterpillars or killing spiders. I hate spiders, but I let them outside; why? Because it's not my right to create or kill. Who am I to take something that precious, or to give something that precious, like these scientists are doing? They are giving false life and false hope to species only to rip that life away. Who knows how painful those five minutes were for that animal. I don't know how anybody can be proud of that.
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  #36    
Old April 10th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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I know.

I come from a godless and scientific background, and it is evident from our posts that our opinions on this do not agree. To me this is the only way for science to advance. 5 minutes leads to 5 days leads to 5 years leads to a viable organism. But much of what we have today is borne upon the backs of dead fruit flies, bunnies, monkeys, and rats. Some of which were designed with a disability in mind to study them.

Nazi scientists performed much human experimentation. As repulsed as I am of what they did, they have nonetheless contributed to our understanding of how the human body works. Some of our understanding is based completely off of what they done. So I guess you could say we're too chicken to build upon their work. Which is what modern scientific ethics is all about I guess.

I don't feel as free as you are as I will be stuck in this moral dilemma for probably my entire life, as will people like me. But we do it not for our own benefit, but for an ideal that everyone else can enjoy the fruits of our labour. At least that's what I feel. I feel that testing on animals is slightly better than testing on humans. And not testing on animals would be giving humans an untested product, which is also unethical. I think it's justified for animals to suffer as long as humans can improve.

I think I begin at the ends justify the means, and constraints kick in from there.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Apparently it's basically now scientifically possible to bring back extinct species, although I doubt much testing has been done. Not to mention, testing and failing is disgusting to me. Why are we cloning things that only last for five minutes just for "tests"? That's putting something through five minutes of pain and misery before it dies a cruel death.

I think the idea that we can bring back extinct species is really cool, but I personally don't think we should. We're not totally sure how these animals would behave and affect the present environment. Not only that, but I don't feel like it's duty or right to start playing god. Something close to 99.9% of species that have ever existed on Earth are now extinct, and we obviously didn't kill them all. They were beat out by other species. The species that are alive today won the gene lottery, you could say. At the end of the day, they beat out everyone else. And that's not our fault, so I don't see why we need to bring an extinct species back to life.

If we're talking about species that humans killed off, I could potentially support that. There's no reason why we made animals like the Dodo bird, Passenger pigeon, or Pyreanean ibex go extinct. It was plain cruelty, honestly.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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I'm no PETA member, but I'm not for testing drugs and chemicals on animals either. When God said take the land and everything on it, for it is yours, He didn't mean to mistreat animals; He meant that it is our responsibility to look after them and treat them humanely. Forcing bunnies to painfully endure different types of lotions, etc. on their eyes and face - notably, since they can't produce water to shield them from these effects - is cruel and inhumane, and they are not there to be test subjects as such. The same can be said of the goat or any other type of animal who is bred and dies, or bred and has difficulties, etc. The preliminary testing is horrible and cruel. I do not and will not agree that the "ends justifies the means" in this scenario because there is too much suffering that occurs to arrive at that "end." There has to be a balance - the sacrifice must equal the gain - and I do not believe that it is so in this case.

And for what it's worth, I don't agree with stepping on tent caterpillars or killing spiders. I hate spiders, but I let them outside; why? Because it's not my right to create or kill. Who am I to take something that precious, or to give something that precious, like these scientists are doing? They are giving false life and false hope to species only to rip that life away. Who knows how painful those five minutes were for that animal. I don't know how anybody can be proud of that.
People like you make me sad for the future.

I know that animal testing is bad, but humans won't let themselves be tested, right? If you really want to save animals from testing, find an alternative. Don't just complain, do something about it. Let yourself be tested, or invent a model that can simulate those chemicals working in the body.

This debate is like me saying to desert dwellers, "don't use water other than to drink, because it wastes resources!", and then not finding another alternative to give those people affected a way to wash their clothes and dishes, bathe, or use water. Testing on organisms is an essential way to find out what things are good or not good for living beings, and there will always be a need for something like that. You guys who are like "no animal testing!": do you guys study ways to simulate how living cells respond to chemicals? No? Then stop your protests (that frankly do nothing to stop animal testing) and use that energy rather to help out to find an alternative.
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five minutes
Yeah

Also, I have to say that it's either they live for more than five minutes, or they never get born.

So yeah just to clear that up
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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People like you make me sad for the future.

I know that animal testing is bad, but humans won't let themselves be tested, right? If you really want to save animals from testing, find an alternative. Don't just complain, do something about it. Let yourself be tested, or invent a model that can simulate those chemicals working in the body.

This debate is like me saying to desert dwellers, "don't use water other than to drink, because it wastes resources!", and then not finding another alternative to give those people affected a way to wash their clothes and dishes, bathe, or use water. Testing on organisms is an essential way to find out what things are good or not good for living beings, and there will always be a need for something like that. You guys who are like "no animal testing!": do you guys study ways to simulate how living cells respond to chemicals? No? Then stop your protests (that frankly do nothing to stop animal testing) and use that energy rather to help out to find an alternative.Yeah

Also, I have to say that it's either they live for more than five minutes, or they never get born.

So yeah just to clear that up
In all honesty, I rarely, if ever, read about scientists finding alternatives to animal testing. I don't have the tools, knowledge or funding to be able to find an alternative, but they sure as heck do; but why would they bother when this is a functional solution that takes less effort and ultimately costs less money?

If I had the resources, I would find an alternative. Asking the public to "find an alternative" is like telling a homeless person to dress better and find a job. That person doesn't have the resources or support to be able to "dress better," thus granting more opportunities to find a job. How can you ask the general public to find an alternative to something that obviously requires special machines, university knowledge, etc.? I can't gene splice at home nor do I have the equipment to control chemicals in a safe environment. Ultimately, and in both cases, it's the system that's broken and has skewed priorities. Rather than researching an alternative to animal testing, they go the easy route, even if maybe an alternative could cost less in the long run. I consider your "find an alternative yourself" argument invalid because it's irrational and unreasonable to ask the public to do something that extreme without funding, knowledge or the necessary equipment. The most we can do is protest, but if that falls on deaf ears, what can you expect more (other than crazy riots or something)?

It's like global warming. They might be slowly approaching change, but they're not going to go all environmentally-friendly overnight. That would cost too much money, and the current system i.e. oil works well for them, so why would they go out of their comfort zone to change it? That's just how it is.

If finding an alternative was important to them, you'd hear about it more often, but frankly they don't care. There are a lot of activists against animal testing who protest the way scientists carry out their experiments, but they still aren't swayed. If you can't change their minds on how important or unethical something is, you can't really expect them to search for alternatives on behalf of the people who do not have the knowledge, funding or equipment to do so themselves. The general public therefore relies on the decisions made by a select group of individuals who abide by their own system of ethics. If you can't alter what they consider unethical treatment, then it's not going to change; not unless some billionaire comes out of nowhere and funds a private operation, but beans if that'll happen.
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  #40    
Old April 10th, 2013, 08:13 PM
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In all honesty, I rarely read about scientists finding alternatives to animal testing. I don't have the tool, knowledge or funding to be able to find an alternative, but they sure as heck do; but why would they bother when this is a functional solution that takes less effort and ultimately costs less money?

If I had the resources, I would find an alternative. Asking the public to "find an alternative" is like telling a homeless person to dress better and find a job. That person doesn't have the resources or support to be able to "dress better," thus granting more opportunities to find a job. How can you ask the general public to find an alternative to something that obviously requires special machines, university knowledge, etc.? I can't gene splice at home nor do I have the equipment to control chemicals in a safe environment. Ultimately, and in both cases, it's the system that's broken and has skewed priorities. Rather than researching an alternative to animal testing, they go the easy route, even if maybe an alternative could cost less in the long run.

It's like global warming. They might be slowly approaching change, but they're not going to go all environmentally-friendly overnight. That would cost too much money, and the current system i.e. oil works well for them, so why would they go out of their comfort zone to change it? That's just how it is.

If finding an alternative was important to them, you'd hear about it more often, but frankly they don't care. There are a lot of activists against animal testing who protest the way scientists carry out their experiments, but they still aren't swayed. If you can't change their minds on how important or unethical something is, you can't really expect them to search for alternatives on behalf of the people who do not have the knowledge, funding or equipment to do so themselves. The general public therefore relies on the decisions made by a select group of individuals who abide by their own system of ethics. If you can't alter what they consider unethical treatment, then it's not going to change; not unless some billionaire comes out of nowhere and funds a private operation, but beans if that'll happen.
Help out, as in do what you can. Pitch ideas, anything. The minds of many are better than one good mind.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:25 PM
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Yeah, I added that above:

Quote:
The most we can do is protest, but if that falls on deaf ears, what can you expect more (other than crazy riots or something)?
As you were posting, I guess.

I don't actively protest, but I do sign petitions and the likes when I can.

Like I said earlier, I'm not some PETA member running around saying eating animals is inhumane, but I do feel our (Canadian) government could do a better job at funding alternatives to animal testing. I personally think it's a "duty" of ours to find such alternatives, as animals themselves ought to be considered, in some ways, part of the moral community. You wouldn't make a child suffer through such tests, so why bunnies and pigs, etc.? Because they're not humans, and thus inferior species? Yet they can feel pain, like humans do. Isn't that fact enough for us to look for alternatives on our own whim, without protests?

I think it's especially inhumane to test on animals for stupid reasons like make-up - things that aren't even necessary to live. That's what really irks me. It's frivolous suffering. Reproducing extinct animals isn't as "frivolous," but the Earth is too populated already, and ecosystems are disappearing, etc. to sustain humans. Why introduce new species (through horrible trial & error methods, as with the goats) when there's no space? To advance science? Boost our egos? Say, "Hey, mom! Look what I did"? Surely there are more important things to fund i.e. cancer cure, an :actual: cure for HIV/AIDS (read about some interesting "cures" in another thread), replacing petrol with water in cars as to protect the ozone layer and reduce pollution (and thus, bettering the health of everyone in general - no more smog-related respiratory illnesses)?
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:36 PM
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Pretty intrigued by this latest find. As long as it's not harmful to the animals I don't really have a problem with them doing this.

Maybe we could bring back the dodos and mammoths. Would be pretty cool to see that happen.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:38 PM
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I'll try giving my take on why scientists aren't swayed.

What scientists would like to do is test on humans. Not that because they are sadistic and would like to see humans suffer. But because they would like to observe the effects upon a human body in order to judge whether or not it is safe for consumption. But, testing on humans is problematic because scientists have tried that on unconsenting people before! Like Nazi scientists and with injecting black people with syphilis and that's the reason why we don't do that anymore.

We work on animals because they are model organisms. Because of ethical difficulties of working with humans, and because scientists acknowledge the significance of evolution and recognize that many of our bodily mechanisms evolved from common ancestors (even those we share with bacteria), we can work with animals because we can infer what might happen to a human from what happens to a monkey. We would like to test on broccoli but unfortunately broccoli do not have stomachs or skin or brains or kidneys. But broccoli do use energy the same way we do, and so we could test cyanide poison on broccoli because it would have the same effect of inhibiting an enzyme that allows us to produce energy. But that's as far as we get because broccoli don't have a nervous system or a respiratory system. Our conclusions could only be that cyanide inhibit are ability to produce energy and lead to death at high enough doses. So an important factor is to find something as similar as possible to a human body without using a human body.

Which is precisely why it is so difficult to find an alternative. You might get a good result with rats. But then you'll want to consider primates. And only when those results are good enough do you try clinical trials on humans. It's kind of a fail-safe. The better you want your results to be, the more similar a system to the human body you must experiment on.

So common alternatives try to imitate a human body - basically offer an artificial replica. But this too is a dead end. Any proper scientist will tell you that in vitro never compares to in vivo. Just because something works in a test tube doesn't mean that that will translate to a living organism. I read on PETA's page that some scientists have developed an artificial liver. But the liver is dependent on so many other systems, like the endocrine system for our hormones, our nervous system - and that coordinates everything. If your drug works well with an artificial liver, all you can conclude is "well, it didn't kill the liver." You wouldn't know if it caused hormonal imbalances, that may lead to neurological disorders and so on and so forth.

And sometimes you don't know if the chemical will affect another organ system altogether. Viagra was tested for the purpose of treating hypertension. If they tested it on an artificial circulatory system (which doesn't exist), then they would have never discovered its magical properties, at least not until the public started consuming it XD. A living organism is incredibly complex, and that complexity can never be sacrificed in testing. In science and medicine, precision and accuracy is absolute - especially when human lives are at stake.

And the more we imitate a living organism, the closer we are to creating an "artificial living organism". Think of Bicentennial Man, as that leads to other moral dilemmas.

I haven't read any expert opinions, but this is basically why I believe that the scientific community is extremely quiet on alternatives. You can't simply go out and "find" an alternative, not while this paradox is at play - you want to imitate the human body without actually getting to a human body. But isn't the path towards a human body increasingly unethical?

Edit: And hey, antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS did go through animal testing. And a cure for AIDS would most likely do the same.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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It's a bad idea to bring back extinct species that died out millions of years ago back to life. They would have cope up with our climate. It's okay for those who recently died like the Great Auk and the Dodo(although they too must cope up with the ever evolving food chain).
Mammoths + hot climate = Epic Fail.
And the only point of cloning extinct animals is for scientist to use them as lab rats. To observe their behavior in real time. It's like observing Proxima Centauri using manned probes, which in our current technology we can't. We can't stop the progress of cloning, which they are hardly close in "perfecting" it. But we know of one thing. We are next in line.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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Has anyone seen the movie The Island or read the book House of the Scorpions?

Both are about cloning. In the movie The Island, humans are cloned as organ donors, birth givers and labourers. When the "actual" person has their life endangered or are considering conception, the clone's organs are removed (effectively killing the clone) to save the "original," or the clone is used as a surrogate and is administered a lethal injection after birth. One lady was so happy to see her baby - that she had been "chosen" and miraculously conceived a child - only to be stabbed with a needle in the neck and killed, the baby ripped from her dying hands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GFmL1WC1pY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lMoWToDxNE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-PCs8V7nLg

In the book House of the Scorpions, there's a mob Mexican dude who wants to live forever and has been creating clones for years in order to have a constant supply of "organ donors." The clones only live to around ten or eleven years of age before they're chopped up and the "original" receives their organs through surgery. One boy manages to escape, killing the mob man (since his organs were basically kaput and it would take another ten years to clone and raise "new ones"). It was a good book, but both it and the movie The Island were traumatic for me.

It's messed up.

All in all, I can only think of this kind of science as a slippery slope. Like legalizing assisted suicide by health care professionals.
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Last edited by Yusshin; April 11th, 2013 at 05:31 PM.
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  #46    
Old April 11th, 2013, 08:16 PM
Kanzler
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It's not a slippery slope when you have ethics boards and other bureaucratic stuff that you have to work through. Bioethics is a big thing and something you'll have to know a thing or two about before you apply for med school. I think what is more likely to happen is that we might be able to clone organs without the rest of the body, but I don't know. What I'm learning in school makes it sound like it could be possible, all you have to do is encourage the cells to specialize a certain way. I'm sure the person who ends up figuring it out will be filthy rich XD

Clones are only offensive to us humans because we think we're all individual and stuff. But in nature you'll find that lots of organisms reproduce by cloning - and further more a group of individuals that might look distinct might just be one organism. Humans have this identity issue where one body = one personality and anything close to infringing on that freaks us out. Imagine how awkward it would be for females to clone themselves and have babies without a male partner. But it works for some species, vertebrates even
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Old April 11th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Personally, I don't see anything wrong in conducting test trials to bring back an extinct species. People seem to forget the bigger picture sometimes. Testing on animals may be bad and all, but I think the means justify the following ends:
  • Bringing back an entire extinct species that, if capable of survival, could possible evolve and change into dozens of different species over the course of a few centuries.
  • Help in the advancement of science by allowing researchers to conduct experiments on species they've never had the chance to.
  • Use this method to bring back extinct plants, insects, and species of bacteria that could provide cures for a number of diseases that don't have one already.

This method of planting the genome of one species into the zygote of another can be applied to seeds as well. What this means is that, as mentioned above, we could bring back extinct species of plants, trees insects and bacteria to aid in our medical trials against certain diseases.

This also means that genetically engineering one fruit tree that is more resilient in a certain climate to carry fruits from a tree that is not, can also be made easier (this has been done before except it's always been a much more complicated procedure).

If you look past the "duck and chick" in the thread's title, you'll see that this sort of scientific method has endless applications and could easily be put to use to solve a large number of our modern-world problems.
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