• Question: do you think people will clone themselves in the future?

    Asked by ghelena to David, Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Ryan, Ross, Rebecca, Rachel, Patrick, Nina, MattyB, Matthew, Marianne, Lorena, Kate, Kaitlin, James, Ettie, Emmanuelle, Deepak, Anabel, Ambre, Alex, AlexAgrotis, Aina on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I hope not. The uniqueness of each individual makes the world an interesting place.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I really hope no one ever does, even if we do end up with the technology to do so! I’ve always wondered whether I’d get along with a clone of myself. Would I like her? Or would I find her really annoying…

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I don’t think it’s implausible with the technology that we have even today or where technology is going but I think the interesting question is more about how ethical it would be. I hope we don’t, as it would be way too complicated.

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      We certainly have the technology to do this however the ethical question of cloning is really important, if we can clone then should we clone?
      One use of cloning would be for organ repair and transplantation. At the moment you can receive an organ from a donor but you need to have you immune system repressed to prevent organ rejection. However, if you were to clone an organ for transplantation so it was an identical genetic match to your original one then immune suppression wouldn’t be required because your body would recognise it as “self”.
      So we might not clone our whole body but we might clone our organs.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 14 Jun 2019: last edited 14 Jun 2019 1:44 am


      I think there are many potentially positive outcomes of cloning technology for biomedical applications but we have to take care with how we use and regulate it. It is technically possible to clone a human but I doubt this would ever be ethically acceptable. Sadly this won’t prevent a few people doing it though.

      Great resource from the Roslin Institute – where I used to work (small claim to fame is that I actually met Dolly when she was alive and used to work in an office next door to the man who created her – Professor Sir Ian Wilmut). He features in this video which discusses some of the uses of cloning and the ethics around it:

      https://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin/about/dolly/facts/cloning
      http://dolly.roslin.ed.ac.uk/facts/stem-cells-faqs/index.html

      As well as using embryonic stem cells, many labs are now moving towards generating and using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) lines – this incredible technology has revolutionised cell biology (including my own work which largely uses iPS cell lines to make human brain cells in the lab). Here is a nice overview of iPS technology:

      https://www.eurostemcell.org/stem-cells-future-introduction-ips-cells

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      I think it is certainly possible to do, but ethically it is a minefield!

      Is your clone a separate person? what rights would they have? how would people know you weren’t the clone? and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      I think David has summed up quite nicely my thoughts on it, Organ cloning for replacement would be an excellent way to remove the issue of our immune systems rejecting them and also relying on others to donate their organs to us. I think this could also be applied to limbs as well.

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      I really hope not. Difference and diversity is what makes the world a great place! It would be really boring if we were all the same!

Comments