genetic facts [was: Ashby, botanical facts

xyz at netcom.ca xyz at netcom.ca
Tue Nov 17 19:52:15 EST 1998


Well I guess now they've done it! ....



Human Cells ``Cloned'' Using Cow Eggs

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists said Thursday they had used cloning technology to
fuse human and cow cells in an attempt to grow organs for transplant in a
laboratory dish.

The team at tiny biotech company Advanced Cell Technology said the cells had grown as
an embryo for a few days, then reverted to a primordial state known as stem
cells, which are capable of growing into any kind of cell in the body.

Although they used the same method they used to clone cows, the scientists at the
privately held company, based in Worcester, Massachusetts, say they have no
intention of trying to create a human clone.

Instead, they want to try to grow organs and tissues in the lab for use in
transplantation therapy.

``We will not use this technology to clone human beings,'' Michael West, president and
chief executive officer of Advanced Cell Technology, vowed in a statement.

The company has not submitted its research for the standard scientific ``peer review''
process, when other experts check to make sure it is legitimate work.

First, they want to assess the public response, said James Robl, a professor of animal
science at the University of Massachusetts who helped found the company, which
has licensed and patented the technology.

Otherwise, the company may end up sinking a lot of money into a project that the public
will not tolerate.

Reaction was fast and pronounced. ``This is the most extraordinary single development
in the history of biotechnology because it now suggests that we can create new
human-animal species,'' Jeremy Rifkin, a writer on biotechnology issues, said in a
telephone interview.

``I don't think we should go ahead with research, around the world, until we take some
time to think about it.'' Calling the idea ``dangerous and chilling,'' Rifkin said he
would lobby Congress to pass a law against such experiments.

But Robl thinks the potential benefits outweigh any initial distaste people might have
for the idea of mixing human and animal cells.

``Embryonic stem cells hold the promise of providing an unlimited supply of cells that
may be grown in the laboratory into virtually any type of tissue for transplant use,''
he said.

He foresees taking a few cells from a patient and growing them perhaps into heart
cells, for use in repairing a damaged heart, or brain cells for injection into the
damaged brains of Parkinson's patients, or even into growing a whole organ such as a
liver.

Because the genetic material comes from the donor, there would be no problem of
rejection.

Robl's team took a human cell -- in this case a skin fibroblast cell -- and fused it
using an electrical current to a cow's egg that had its nucleus removed.

The human nucleus, which contains all the genes that carry the ``road map'' for
building a functioning body, crossed into the hollowed-out cow egg. This process
started
the egg growing and dividing almost as if it had been fertilized by a sperm.

Although it started out looking like an embryo, it later became a mass of stem cells.

Earlier this month a team at the University of Wisconsin at Madison said they grew
human stem cells from human embryos donated by infertile couples after fertility
treatments.

On their own the cells differentiated into cartilage, bone, muscle and other kinds of
cells and are still growing in laboratory dishes.

Their study, funded by Geron Corp (Nasdaq:GERN - news), is farther down the road than
Robl's. But their cells would be foreign to the patient receiving them, since
they contain the human genetic material from someone else. There would be the problem
of rejection just as there is now with donated organs.

Not so with cells cloned from the patient.

Robl says his human-cow hybrid cells -- made from cells donated by Jose Cibelli, one of
the scientists on the team -- died after a couple of weeks.

``If the cells get past this initial hump, then they theoretically would be like normal
human embryonic stem cells and can be used just as other human embryonic stem
cells can be used,'' Robl said. He said eventually the human genes would take over and
only a very small amount of cow DNA would remain.

He thinks this approach might be more ethically acceptable than using human embryos.
Currently U.S. federal funds cannot be used to pay for such research.

Earlier Stories

     Clone Technology Could Grow Liver In A Dish -Study (November 12)


-----------------------
Your recent article on the use of non-human embryos for cloning points
out a major misunderstanding in the true nature of being a biological
human.

The assumption is that nucleus DNA is the only DNA in a human cell.
There are other components that are as important and are only inherited
from the mother's embryo, namely mitochondria DNA which is outside the
nucleus that carries out an important part in the chemical-energy
processes of every cell within us.
Also there has been recent discoveries that indicated that a human cell
has an unusual coating that seems to
be critical to neurons and may be the cause of our distinct higher
intelligence.

The Jewish religion believes that some bloodlines only pass through the
mother’s side.
Mitochondria DNA and other non-nucleus components are only inherited
from the mother embryo.

Therefore, a cloned human utilizing a non-human embryo will never be
100% human!

If we utilize a cow's embryo to mass-produce humans,
we will
again re-create the horrors of our past enslavement of our fellow man.

By pursuing this course of capitalistic manipulation of our very being,
we are dis-inheriting our right to live.

We must stand together and boycott all firms and governments condoning
such practices.


-vic


Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

> Doug Weller (dweller at ramtops.demon.co.uk) wrote on Fri, 23 Oct 1998 19:25:02 +0100:
> : In article <70q64i$hnp$1 at whisper.globalserve.net>, on 23 Oct 1998 15:08:02
> : GMT, yuku at globalserve.net said...
>
> : > Wakie-wakie, Doug!
> : >
> : > You've been asleep all this time, I suppose, and never heard about any of
> : > this before? For a big Archaeological Know-It-All, you sure seem pretty
> : > clued out...
>
> : That doesn't look like you saying Heyerdahl accepts an Asian derivation
> : for Polynesians, unless you include the Hittites as Asians.
>
> Now what?
>
> Doug, the Big Archaeological Know-It-All, is not aware of the fact that
> Hittites were based primarily in Asia Minor? Gimme a break...
>
> And this is the guy who never tires of lecturing everybody about how many
> books about archaeology he has read???
>
> Now, to be sure, myself, I do not endorse the view of Heyerdahl that all
> these cultural elements came to S and C America from Asia Minor. Being an
> independent inventionist, I think a lot of this stuff was invented
> independently in America. So Heyerdahl may have been wrong about this.
>
> Yuri.
>
> Yuri Kuchinsky -=- Toronto -=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku
>
> What are the things of long ago? Tell us, that we may
> reflect on them, and know their outcome; or declare
> to us the things to come -=O=-  Isaiah 41:22






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