China’s Clone Wars: “The Technology Is Already Here”
Cloning has been part of our lives for a while – in science-fiction, that is. However, if some of the ambitious claims made by the scientists of the Middle Kingdom are to be believed, we are not that far away from getting this technology off the screens and into our everyday lives.
From cloning cattle to reviving deceased pets and customizing babies, “the technology is already here” – local scientists conclude.
A Tianjin-based company, Boyalife, is promising to be able to clone up to 1 million cows a year by 2020 – and that’s not all by far.
Boyalife believe that we have reached a stage when cloning can be used for improving a baby’s genetic pool and even bringing lost pets back to life (for which there seems to be a huge market potential).
In addition to commercial success, however, the ambitious cloning project could also prevent the extinction of endangered species and open up more ways for wildlife conservation.
However, and as you might expect, there are roadblocks of reason on the way. A specialist at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is concerned about the legal and other repercussions of allowing private companies to freely engage in cloning experiments.
Up till now, China has been one of the most lenient countries regarding experiments that involved cloning and stem cells. However, this may be changing with the new regulations, requiring each entity wishing to move on clinical trials in humans to provide enough documentation to support their research.
Whether you are looking forward to the day when cloning becomes as commonplace as teeth cleaning or dreading it, one thing seems to be clear. Scientists are moving ahead with the idea – and if you don’t yet have anyone in mind you’d like to see more of, you might as well get down to making that list.
Read more on China’s clones here.