Science is moving at light-speed down the bio-engineering and cloning path. In addition to creating the first cloned sheep, dogs, mice, horses, and kittens, scientists have finally and successfully cloned the first (macaques) monkeys. They were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, and they lived for 50 days and 40 days, respectively.
Chinese scientists were successful by building on the knowledge induced from creating Dolly, the first sheep, and then utilizing DNA taken from fetuses. They used a new technique called SCNT: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Learn more here.
The line has now been crossed where, if science can clone monkeys (and then apes), the next step is the human species. Ethicist Paul Root Wolpe examines the implications in a depressing, but yet fascinating, Ted Talk that follows the path of the many experiments over recent decades: dogs that glow in the dark, mice with human ears attached, cross-cloning of lions and tigers and other animals, and now, creating two macaques.
Mr. Wolpe asks soul-searching questions:
- Do we REALLY want to have designer pets? Designer children?
- Is it morally ethical to create creatures “for our own purposes” and while “removing their own autonomy?”
What’s going to happen once humans are designed to glow in the dark, similar to the many experiments in the talk? Will ‘THEY’ be able find us day and night?
In addition to cloning, science has come up with the CRISPR gene drive that can edit a gene trait in our DNA. Snip, snip. All you need to do is cut and paste... and voila! One edited gene trait can change the human species forever. Journalist Jennifer Kahn discusses CRISPR editing and its implications in the video found on You Tube. Watch it HERE on You Tube.
The inroads that science has made into the cloning of creatures and the clipping of DNA dredges up many implications. What is going to happen to humanity and our world? It’s time to pause... and think. Do we really want to go down this rabbit hole? Please share your thoughts with us.
Ted Talks: Paul Root Wolpe and Jennifer Kahn
Photo credit: macaque public domain photos, credit to Chinese Academy of Sciences