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Anorak | Our Better Selves

Our Better Selves

by | 13th, February 2004

‘IN the class of the future, we may yet a see a return of Mr Chips, that venerable old teacher of days gone by.

You’ve seen one human embryo, you’ve seen them all

The Telegraph leads with the news that a team of South Korean scientists have cloned a human embryo, a “breakthrough that could revolutionise medicine”.

Readers learn that this new science could lead to new treatments for a variety of conditions, like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.

This is all very commendable, and any who suffer from such illnesses should be excited by the news.

But the idea of cloning carries so much baggage. Don Kennedy, the editor–in-chief of Science, the magazine that published the South Korean’s work, is keen to put the record straight.

“Nobody has cloned a human here. All they have done is to create a stem cell line from a blastocyst,” he says.

“It is a recipe for cloning only as far as catching a turtle is the recipe for turtle soup”.

We see the sentiment of Kennedy’s argument, but he must agree that a turtle is a pretty useful ingredient when making a turtle soup, and cloning humans must be a step closer to reality than it was before this breakthrough.

But for any scaremongers out there who wish to bang on about how we will all be overrun by a band of identical humanoids, we tell you not to worry.

Anyone who has seen the wives of the American Ryder Cup golf team or the faces sat around Tony Blair’s Cabinet table will know that it’s all been done before.’



Posted: 13th, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink