Conspiracy #7: CLONING

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Conspiracy #7: cloning

When you hear the word “cloning,” you may think of the cloning of humans similar to what is depicted in many sci-fi movies and shows. However, most modern cloning is often done on a smaller scale (for now). To clone something is to make a genetically exact copy of it whether it be plants, cells, sheep or entire people.

Currently there are many ethical issues that surround cloning, especially when it comes to humans, however there are other highly positive results from cloning such as stem cells, for tissue and organ replacement. In addition to the ethical issues, profound questions around consciousness and what it would mean spiritually to clone another being and how this affects identity, behavior and personality traits. There are also many conspiracy theories surrounding cloning in regards to if it is already being done and mainstream people in society believed to be replaced with clones.

We explore some current cloning methodologies as well common themes and predictions in science fiction.

example #1: dolly the sheep

Dolly, female Finn Dorset sheep that lived from 1996 to 2003, was the first clone of an adult mammal, produced by British developmental biologist Ian Wilmut and colleagues of the Roslin Institute, near EdinburghScotland. The announcement in February 1997 of Dolly’s birth marked a milestone in science, dispelling decades of presumption that adult mammals could not be cloned and igniting a debate concerning the many possible uses and misuses of mammalian cloning technology.

Dolly remained alive and well long after her birth, with a functional organs, all derived genetically from the nuclear DNA of an adult mammary gland cell. The technique used to produce her later became known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). SCNT has since been used to generate a wide variety of mammalian clones, from different types of adult cells; its success in producing clones of primates, however, has been notably limited. (Source: Wikipedia)

Example #2: Hollywood cloning references

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction thriller television series that focuses on a woman who after witnessing a suicide of a woman identical to her, realizes she’s one of many clones. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its effect on identity as each clone has wildly different personalities. (Source: Wikipedia)

Living with Yourself is an American comedy-drama streaming television series starring Paul Rudd. It follows the story of a man who, after undergoing a mysterious treatment that promises him the allure of a better life, discovers that he has been replaced by a cloned version of himself. Each cloned version has different character traits the emphasize different parts of himself. (Source: Wikipedia)

Stargate SG-1 touches on many themes within cloning with the Asgard race. The Asgard, pursuing means of extending their lifespans, began to use cloning technology. The mental patterns of Asgard that became ill or fatally injured were preserved by “downloading” them into computer memory crystals. The patterns were later placed in a new cloned body. This made the Asgard effectively immortal at the cost of the ability to reproduce sexually. The excessive use of the cloning process began to damage and degrade the Asgard genome, which raises questions about human cloning and its effects on genetic information. (Source:

The Island is a 2005 American sci-fi thriller. The film is about Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor), who struggles to fit into the highly structured world in which he lives, isolated in a compound. After Lincoln learns the compound inhabitants are clones used for organ harvesting as well as surrogates for wealthy people in the outside world, he attempts to escape with Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) and expose the illegal cloning movement. This film raises questions on cloning ethics and human consciousness. (Source: Wikipedia)

Example #3: genetic editing (crispr)

CRISPR gene editing is a genetic engineering technique by which the genomes of living organisms may be modified. It is based on a simplified version of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 antiviral defense system. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA)  into a cell, the cell’s genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added in living organisms.

The technique is considered highly significant in biotechnology and medicine as it allows for the genomes to be edited with extremely high precision, cheaply and with ease. It can be used in the creation of new medicines, agricultural products, and genetically modified organisms, or as a means of controlling pathogens and pests. It also has possibilities in the treatment of inherited genetic diseases as well as diseases arising from somatic mutations such as cancer. However, its use in human germline genetic modification is highly controversial.

We have had cloning technology and the ability to clone humans for over a decade now, how do we know if it is being used ethically or not currently?

How do you feel about cloning? Let us know below!

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