Friday, 18 January 2008

Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise...and womb envy

Some suspiciously patriarchal science emanates from England* today, with some blokes claiming to have cloned the first human embryo from human skin cells.

The skin cells were taken from two men and the eggs were donated by three different women.

The nuclear material was removed from the eggs, and the men's DNA inserted therein.

A viable embryo resulted. We know it was a clone, since some of the mtDNA from the egg was found intertwined in the clone.

So, three cheers for Drs. Frankenstein and Jehovah in their laboratories!

But wait,as they say, there's more...

As Lyle Armstrong of the International Centre for Life at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne points out, the whole cloning process is dependent on the egg's ability to switch on the cell-creating mechanism. It's something the skin cells can't do on their own.
"Our ultimate aim is to replicate the reprogramming the egg does, but without the egg," he says.

Meanwhile, instead of looking for the Higgs Boson in the new Large Hadron Collider at CERN, as perhaps they should be, many scientists have decided that trying to decipher dogs' barks using a computer is the cutting edge of modern knowledge.

I don't know why they don't apply this tech to the whales instead, as they may just be smarter than humans.
May be? I'm kidding, no?

*Update: Erratum - the skin-cell clone took place in California, not England as I stated. Apologies, England and California, but not big ones.