Blog

Could Cloud Atlas Revitalize Interest in Human Cloning and Gene Modification?

Nov 23, 2012 | Genetics

“The embryos I was looking at had been designed to labor in uranium tunnels under the Yellow Sea. Their saucerlike eyes were genomed for darkness. In fact, they go insane if xposed to brite unfiltered daylite.” –pg 324, Cloud Atlas*


Genetically modified clones, or “fabricants” are featured prominently in Cloud Atlas, a film adapted from the David Mitchell novel of the same name. Popular culture has historically played a role in enticing the collective imagination when it comes to human cloning and, to a lesser extent, genetic modification. Cloud Atlas is no different. But is there any truth to the possibility of human clones and genetic modification?
“The scenario of multiple, identical copies of people is something that the media tend to latch on to, while missing [the technology’s] real potential, i.e. genetic modification,” Kevin Smith, a bioethicist at Abertay University in the UK, told TechNewsDaily. “Nevertheless, in science fiction the notion of identical clones does occur, and I cannot rule it out on technical grounds.”
While the first instances of human genetic modification (using a process called cytoplasmic transfer) seem to date back to 2001—even earlier by some reports—and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to stop further research into cytoplasmic transfer in 2001, the practice still exists in varying forms. For example, the creation of a 3-parent embryo, referenced in a previous post, uses a nuclear transfer process not dissimilar from cytoplasmic transfer.
Why do you think there are such strong opinions, both for and against human gene modification? What are your thoughts on the subject?
*misspellings sic

0 Comments

Blessed by Science: Response to a Genetic Disease

As much of the world struggles with the moral dilemmas that arise from the answers that genetic testing can and does provide, there are pockets of society that have found ways to embrace technology for the very basic reason of ensuring the longevity of their...

Fetal DNA Testing – New Parameters

Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) of DNA is a new and expanding option for pregnant women. Research has shown it to be accurate for detecting trisomy, in women who are considered low or high risk. Trisomy exists when there are three copies of a chromosome instead of...

Proving Common Ancestral Lineage With DNA Testing

DNA testing is commonly thought of in connection with divorce cases and paternity claims, or criminal justice cases where DNA samples are required of victims or suspects. But DNA testing can also function as a powerful tool for proving the likelihood of ancestral...

DNA Banking: Genetic Storage and Security for the Future

DNA testing is becoming used more frequently by people to help in critical situations that can change their lives. In cases of missing children, urgent medical care needs, body identification or legal verification, DNA can help solve the issue. But waiting until an...

Reach Us

Have questions or need assistance? Contact our team.

DNA Technology Park
1 DDC Way
Fairfield, OH 45014

Leave A Message