Human Exceptionalism

The Human Cloning Goal Behind Stem Cell Cures

Buried deep in an encouraging story about another advance in turning skin cells into stem cells, we see more evidence of biotechnology’s ultimate human cloning goal.

First, the good news. An acid bath may be able to replace viruses in transforming skin cells into stem cells that can become any type of cell in the body. From the Nature News story:

In 2006, Japanese researchers reported a technique for creating cells that have the embryonic ability to turn into almost any cell type in the mammalian body — the now-famous induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In papers published this week in Nature, another Japanese team says that it has come up with a surprisingly simple method — exposure to stress, including a low pH — that can make cells that are even more malleable than iPS cells, and do it faster and more efficiently.

Excellent. Ethical stem cell research that avoids using embryos should be celebrated.

But deeper in the story, the ultimate agenda surfaces. These cells–unlike embryonic and IPS cells made with viruses–can be turned into placental cells.

So?

That could make cloning dramatically easier, says Wakayama. Currently, cloning requires extraction of unfertilized eggs, transfer of a donor nucleus into the egg, in vitro cultivation of an embryo and then transfer of the embryo to a surrogate

That’s somatic cell nuclear transfer, the process that led to Dolly, and has now successfully created embryos in humans:

If STAP cells can create their own placenta, they could be transferred directly to the surrogate.

Wakayama is cautious, however, saying that the idea is currently at “dream stage”.

Revealing that for all the discussion of cures and testing–which scientists certainly seek–I believe human cloning remains the ultimate goal of the sector.

Why? That’s when the real genetic tinkering, transhuman religious recreationism, and other Brave New World fun could begin.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

World

Why Are They Doing This to the Bitkovs?

Guatemala City You should know about the Bitkovs -- a strange and terrible case. The Bitkovs are a family of four: Igor and Irina and their children, Anastasia and Vladimir. They started out in Russia -- or rather, three of them did. Vladimir was born here in Guatemala. Igor, Irina, and their daughter were ... Read More
PC Culture

Intellectual Refusniks and Renegades

Two weeks ago, philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris had Ezra Klein, who is Vox’s editor in chief, on his podcast, Waking Up. The topic: Klein’s website had labeled Harris a participant in “pseudoscientific racialist speculation” because Harris had had the temerity to host social scientist Charles ... Read More
Elections

The Misanthropic Mrs. Clinton

A curious dualism emerges in New York Times reporter Amy Chozick’s book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling. As I noted yesterday, Chozick makes it clear that she was rooting for Clinton. But she also thinks Clinton hates her. Chozick shouldn’t take things ... Read More
World

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More