“Cloning will never make a correct copy” say scientists

A study published in today’s Science journal, suggests that embryonic cloning is dangerous and causes hidden defects in the two percent of embryos that survive the cloning procedure. Researchers from the University of Hawaii cloned mice and found that the pups had problems. “Even if a cloned animal looks normal, it may have a dormant problem,” said Ryuzo Yanagimachi, one of the researchers.

Yanagimachi and Dr. Hidenori Akutsu, collaborated with Rudolf Jeanisch and scientists at Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the research which according to Akutsu shows “we must be more careful (with cloning). Cloning will never make a correct copy. Especially in the beginning stage, it is very unstable.” The scientists noted various abnormal symptoms in the cloned mice at birth such as “overgrown placentas, increased body weight and respiratory problems.” Moreover, some die of hematological or immunological problems before reaching adulthood, they said.

Yanagimachi told the Star Bulletin that the cloning technique is very inefficient now, with 98 percent of embryos dying. “It is very likely that the vast majority of cloned embryos die of extensive errors in DNA methylation. The one born is an exception, and even with one we may see some problems. It may not be perfectly normal.” He concluded, “We don’t know if we can ever make this cloning safe. We don’t know. We’re hoping. Even if cloning becomes safe, it is not for humans. Even for animals, it is not safe.”

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