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Pig Clones

By Fish in News
Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 07:25:40 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

5 pig clones have been created, courtesy of the people that brought you Dolly the Sheep.

Check out the picture of them all ... its scary. Can you imagine 5 human clones? These little pigs are the next stage in human evolution: we've had GM food, now we've got cloned pigs (to provide us with organs for human transplant) ... what comes after this I can only fear (perhaps a race of superfish?).

Oh yeah, and one of the pigs is called "dotcom".


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Pig Clones | 13 comments (13 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Now all we need is cologned pigs be... (none / 0) (#2)
by Strider on Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 11:28:09 AM EST

Strider voted 1 on this story.

Now all we need is cologned pigs because, man, do those things smell!
---
"it's like having gravity suddenly replaced by cheez-whiz" - rusty

Dotcom? That's a pretty stupid nam... (none / 0) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 12:03:44 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Dotcom? That's a pretty stupid name for a pig. Are they really that short on imagination? "Dotty" (i.e. Dorothy) I can accept, but Dotcom? Ugh.

Now, what I'd like to see is people getting off their "don't play God" high horse and accepting the mucking-around with the genotypes. Being able to genetically-engineer custom cloned skin for various purposes would be rather nice, for example; lots of people want to be furries, for example, and when they can get cloned skin to form pores and hair follicles (if they can't already; I don't keep up on this stuff much), it'll be possible to, say, change the density of the hair and the color of the melanin, and then I could have, say, a nice luscious coat of purple fur. (Anyone who's seen my homepage knows that's not even close to the extent of my imagination, either. :)

Personally, I think that humans are rather boring, aesthetically, and that evolution needs to be shaken up somewhat. Evolution tends to lead to functionally-useful changes, which can include aesthetics, but it can only take frustratingly-slow baby steps. I want to see random creatures. Why settle for a cat or dog when you can have a splotchypine or (something which passes for) a friendly grue? Or even useful manipulations to existing species; porcupines are quite intelligent and apparently make wonderful, loving pets, except for the problem of quills. Why not engineer porcupines whose quills don't have sharp points at the end (and increase their visual acuity while we're at it)? Potentially perfect pets but still aesthetically-striking.

As a species, we have the capability to play God. I don't see what's wrong with doing that. It's just another potential factor driving evolution. It's not like the world's species are currently in a pristine state, the be-all end-all of whatever deity there may or may not be intended. People are always crying about the daily extinction of species in the rainforest, using the unknown benefit arguments; what about all the random potentially-existent species with unknown benefits?

But no, any man-made change to biology is considered "playing God" or being "Dr. Frankenstein," and then they go and feed their domesticated dog and eat some cauliflower.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Boring modifications (none / 0) (#12)
by error 404 on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 12:59:16 PM EST

The purple fur sounds like a neat idea. Unfortunately, the more likely use is
to do things like grow boring brown hair back on the heads of guys like me who
don't have all that much.

Personaly, I'd go in for modifications to grow a coat of purple fur (although a
dark chestnut would probably be more my style) before I'd resort to any hair
restoration stuff.

Creating new and interesting pets would be OK if we could do it well. But doing
it badly would mean a high probability of building a beast that is in constant
pain. Look at some of the more abstract dog breeds - and we did that to them
with nothing more advanced than selective breeding. I would hope people would
hold off until we know how to do it right.

"Playing God" is an unfortunate way to phrase the argument. I have nothing
against doing whatever we can figure out how to do. But when you deal with
living organisms, you take on responsibility for that organism, both toward the
organism and toward the potential victims of the organism. To grow a modified
organism without being reasonably sure that it can live reasonably well and not
cause exessive damage is just plain irresponsible.

I have no gripe against man-made changes to biology, as long as those changes
are done responsibly, with respect for the biology involved. I think cloning
the pigs is pretty neat.

(No, I'm not in PETA or anything. I am a happy canivore.)

..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
hmmm. ... (none / 0) (#1)
by hattig on Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 12:29:19 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

hmmm.

dotcom dotnet dotorg dotgov dotmil dotedu dotint - they should have cloned 7 pigs :-)

What's "GM food?" I can obviously g... (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by Anonymous Coward on Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 06:04:00 PM EST

Anonymous Coward voted 1 on this story.

What's "GM food?" I can obviously guess, but what's it stand for etc?

Re: What's "GM food?" I can obviously g... (none / 0) (#5)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 16, 2000 at 11:35:36 PM EST

Genetically Manipulated.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

They are all alike... (none / 0) (#6)
by shepd on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 12:08:41 AM EST

Dumb question, I know, but how would one know which pig was which (they have
names) when they are identical in every way?

Or do they just get randomly named?  :-)


Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#7)
by fluffy grue on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 12:50:31 AM EST

Likely ear tags or something, or just randomness. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#8)
by rusty on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 01:16:21 AM EST

More interesting, if there are seven pigs, and seven names, and all the pigs are identical, does it even matter, at any given moment, what you call which pig?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#9)
by ramses0 on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 01:28:42 AM EST

Yes it does, rusty... each pig will be physically identical, but not mentally
identical.

Metaphysically, they will have each had different experiences, and will each be
unique, thus deserving a unique name.

That's where the most common misconception of cloning comes in... yes, two
objects are physically identical, but they've got different things in their
brain.

To relate "technology and culture", it's like palm-pilots.  We both may have
Palm III's, but what makes yours "yours", and mine "mine" is the stuff in RAM. 
Although the devices are physically identical, they represent completely
different things.

--Robert

[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#10)
by stimuli on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 09:44:49 AM EST

Yes it does, rusty... each pig will be physically identical, but not mentally identical.
They may not even be physically identical, as experiences in the womb during the initial growth can have huge effects on the final outcome. That would be mitigated somewhat here, as I assume they were in the same womb, but such things as position in the womb, relative levels of blood flow to each fetus, and so forth, should still make some difference.
-- Jeffrey Straszheim
[ Parent ]
Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#11)
by asad on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 11:36:42 AM EST

But I still think if you made them into bacon they would all taste the same not matter their experiences.

[ Parent ]
Re: They are all alike... (none / 0) (#13)
by rusty on Fri Mar 17, 2000 at 01:24:24 PM EST

I'm with you on this one ;-)

<HOMER>Mmmmmm. Clone meat.</HOMER>

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Pig Clones | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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