Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy by Stanley Shostak

By Stanley Shostak

Explores how new organs could be engineered through cloning and reproductive expertise to supply human immortality.

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The consequent homogeneity would not threaten humankind with a loss of individual identity, since the superabundance of differences among and within organisms would compensate and preserve individuality among immortals. The consequent homogeneity would only reduce friction and create harmony. WASTE Life is prodigal! Since the time of Weismann, an organism, or somatoplasm, has been understood as a virtual waste-product from the moment it is conceived except as it functions as a receptacle for germplasm on its way between generations.

Moreover, the primary structure of polypeptide chains, or sequences of amino acids, was only prescribed in mRNA after a primary RNA transcript was cut and spliced—deleting portions known as introns while suturing together portions known as exons. Cutting and splicing is not an exception to the rule. Most of our genes engage in it, and about 35 percent of our genes are resolved into multiple mRNAs through alternate splicing. Indeed, multiple splicing seems to allow our 35,000 or so genes to create our amazing diversity.

The history of modern biotechnology is the tale of the central dogma— mainly how to violate it. With the help of massive infusions of cash, biologists have worked out the techniques for targeting genes for change, for combining DNA from different sources—recombinant DNA technology—for amplifying genes through gene cloning and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), getting genes into cells with the help of vectors and electroporation, and screening for genetically modified cells. As a result, human hormones are presently manufactured by bacteria and cultured cells, genetically modified food is presently available in supermarkets around the world, and human proteins are harvested from the secretions of livestock—so-called pharming.

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