Archive for the ‘week_6’ Category

Week 6 - Wei-Yi Lin on Animal Carcass.

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Scientific experiments that involve animal testing have always been a controversial issue whether or not is the performance of such a necessary cost and who would monitor scientists from abusing animals. Carol Gigliotti expresses her concern in her article “Leonardo’s choice: the ethics of artists working with genetic technologies” that there are approximately 20 million cases of animal testing of all kinds performed in the United States as compared to roughly 60 million animal cases worldwide annually. We do more animal experiments than any other country and this raises a question about the rights and voices of these victimized animals in our home, where we uphold individual freedom and rights of a being. She even cites Leonardo da Vinci as an example that science doesn’t always have to sacrifice animals to proof an objective. Though her arguments are aesthetic and sound, I find her consideration regarding the practicability and usefulness of animal testing are not present in her thirteen page research paper. As a result, the arguments are romantic and visionary but not practical and convincing.

I feel that animal testing is not cruel; in fact, it’s a beautiful way to investigate efficiency or even fatality of a drug from a biotechnological point of view. Regardless of how accurate and caution we have taken the chemical formulae and mathematical calculations in designing a drug, without animal testing, how can we assure patients that they work even if they are approved to be safe by the FDA (wait a minute, how can FDA proof it to be safe without performing a life specimen testing?). In fact, I feel artists and scientists are very alike on the point that not everyone accepts their work, whether it’s a drug or a painting, but they are all determined to claim points of their own which they think might serve the public somewhat positively. Under this basis to serve the well interest of beings (includes animals and humans), animals and scientists are simply nuts and screws of the biotechnological processes.

The issue about animal right is debatable. For animal activists, what are you seeking to protect? What are your objectives? To eradicate all animal testing on earth? Even if some turn to be moderate by claiming to establish a system which assures the right and integrity of the animals are not compromised nor abused in experiments (such as dumping animal carcass into trash cans after use), they are just being vague because by what standards and who are going to set rules of this game? It doesn’t mean that scientists win the debate because they do kill a hell of animals with little research outcomes produced. This reflects scientists’ indifference while killing a mouse or dissecting a cloned sheep when animals are performed in experiments. To elevate the argument to a macroscopic view apart from the two camps, in my opinion, people are just using animals to start a “right” war of endless debate; no one has a clear mind of what they want to achieve or defend because there is no point of doing so. Ultimately, animals remain victims. Still.

Expressed solemnly by Wei-Yi Lin.

Nicolas Nelson Sec1A, Week 6

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

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Nicolas Nelson Sec1A, Week 6

Professor Vesna’s article was a nice abstract of the separate factions within the world of bioengineering and biotechnology, but it was difficult to relate to (maybe it’s just the scientist half of me that likes instructions off which to base creativity) because of its hesitation to defend one side or the other. It did stir up some important thoughts about anthropocentrism and suggested a sort of artistic sovereignty that gives people a universal freedom of speech (so far as the law and society permit). http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/11/19/nyregion/19art.large1.jpg Vesna and I agree that it is indeed a very noble thing to stand up against alien forces (e.g. convention) at personal risk to make the statement you feel ought to be shared (whether that conception is anything from the liberty to express itself or an outcry against the desecration of Mother Nature via maiming a tiny portion of her, as cited in the next text). But this essay reminds us that this nobility is negated should the artist disregard the opinions of enthusiasts and critics alike. Only through the scrupulous meta-analysis of the present and the acceptance of lessons learned in the past (i.e. Kac’s fluorescent rabbit issue) is an artist truly free to aesthetically articulate virtuously. As it’s been said of politics, we must live under the imprisonment of certain rules to be free—likewise in art.

Although similarly indecisive, Gigliotti’s article presents contemporary artists with essentially only two (potentially radical) options: conservative preservation of nature or modern innovation via manipulation—natural versus artificial selection. Using Eduardo Kac’s bioluminescent bunnies as its exploration into this topic, the entire essay is reluctant to choose one side or the other, but it does go in depth into each to give the reader a better chance at choosing the “correct” path for him- or herself. The arguments against his experimentation taste of the biomedical ethics of animal testing; it’s not the art in question that is the problem. To me, the imprecision in biological engineering for aesthetic purposes is totally warranted; so long as the artist is willing to sacrifice the resource materials (just like the time, money, effort, and imagination that most art mediums and their usage demand) and such consumptions do not deprive others, people should be able to create what- and however they please. It’s the animalian pain that concerns me, personally. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_t9BtdZa7Kn8/RiTBg2JAdaI/AAAAAAAAAWA/__VFMzzW-oo/s320/LabPup9.jpg Not to be PETA-esque or anything, but the purposeless pain violates utilitarianism on two levels: it causes unnecessary pain at the most physiological root (unless it could be argued that the potential pleasure the finished artistic bio-canvas would bring to those who behold it would outweigh the fauna’s affliction), and it is a “waste”—without telos—since such endeavors do not per say promote science nor the human condition (though it could likewise be argued that biological art would be a powerful enough tool to motivate the masses). Although I regret to say I lack enough faith in art for it to make such an impact on the world as to revolutionize humanity and compensate for the cons of the animal holocausts. After all, the world’s self-assembled (via geological, biological, etc. factors) gorgeous landscapes and independent biodiversity were not enough to deter developers. http://www.hkoutdoors.com/images/stories/pollution/city_of_smog.JPG But who knows? Perhaps life painted from human hands would be stronger. http://fringehog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/DNA%20art2.jpg These are in fact “new media”—perhaps powerful enough to outweigh the pen and the sword. Gigliotti, luckily, defends the art for me in a way that I cannot, and denounces utilitarianism, since such practicality could be viewed by naturalists and rationalists as the opposite of art. Don’t get me wrong, though; any scapegoat is worth the preservation of humanity and its creative beauty. Whether or not we have an intelligent designer, and regardless of its possible love for us, I can’t give it more allegiance than to my fellow mankind. Loyalty is everything, and if I had to, I would be willing to sacrifice the rest of kingdom Animalia, all other branches of life, the universe, and whatever gods put us here to preserve the human spirit—fundamentally, science, art, and technology.

“GM Everything” by Esteban Torres - Week 6

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

392893993_849919f0be         Esteban Torres - Week 6 Blog

      “Hey, farmer, farmer, put away that D.D.T., now! 
Give me spots on my apples 
But leave me the birds and the bees, please!”  These are lyrics from the song “Big Yellow Taxi,” originally by Joni Mitchell and covered by the Counting Crows (one of the best bands ever!)  These lyrics probably represent the opinion of most of us in terms of genetically modified food.  Most of us eat GM food all of the time, but not because we understand the dangers of it (if there are dangers), but because it is the food available to us at a decent price at the supermarket.  But if we knew that these foods will harm us in the future, we would not be eating them.  At this point many of the effects are unknown to us, so of course, most of us rather shop at a regular supermarket than an overly priced Whole Foods. 

            Without even having to go in as far as genetically modified food, some of the things that companies do to sell their products seem deceitful.  For example, the fact that some fruit are coated in wax and are actually incredibly old (preserved) when we buy it at the supermarket.  This is a situation similar to that of the McDonalds fries that we looked into in class, where the fries would last for months without decomposing.  By knowing so little, I feel I am being deceived when I learn that companies are selling to me these products as food. 

            I learned that GM foods were introduced to the market in the 90s.  Way too little time has passed to see any lasting risks for the consumers.  What worries me is that food is getting modified for financial purposes of the individual companies as marketing techniques, and that we might be falling for potentially dangerous traps when we buy the larger, “redder” strawberries, which will eventually cause cancer or some disease of the sort.

            Another topic we looked at in class this week is art and genetic modification of animals.  In the reading, a specific subject of interest was Eduardo Kac’s GFP bunny.  This fluorescent bunny caused much controversies and helped form the debate about genetically modifying animals to create new creatures.  A great concern about such a creature is that if they are released into the wild and they breed with other animals of the same species, then the genes will propagate and be dangerous to the species.  I considered this fluorescent bunny running around and passing its genes.  We don’t know what this new genetic makeup implies aside from making the bunny look green; the thought of people do this is scary.  So few people could put the entire world at risk for some silly experiment. 

            Fluorescent bunnies would be easy to spot (especially in the dark) but I can imagine there are innumerable ways to modify genes, and a lot of these modifications must be unnoticeable.  So I just hope that there aren’t some crazy scientist somewhere putting entire species at risk by being irresponsible and releasing genetically modified animals. 

            Obviously, there must be benefits to these innovations and discoveries, but I hope that scientists are responsible about it.  I mean, no one is asking ME if I think some of these things are the right or wrong thing to do.  It seems unfair that some people might put my world at risk to satisfy their artistic thirst.  But then of course, so many people are out there doing amazing research and original thinking that will eventually cure a disease I might get some day.  I hope I don’t.  Knock on wood. 

Sources

“Is The Wax Coating On Apples Harmful? - IndusLadies.” IndusLadies - Global Online Community of Indian Ladies. 16 Feb. 2009 <http://www.indusladies.com/forums/healthy-foods/20937-is-wax-coating-apples-harmful.html>. 

“Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?” CSA. 15 Feb. 2009 <http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php>.

 

Week_6 Debates Instigated by Biotech By Gaurav Bansal

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Biotechnology is a relatively new field and is advancing very fast. There are a lot of issues that surround the topic of Biotechnology, mainly ethical and moral. The applications of biotechnology in our modern lives are endless; it can be used from agricultural need all the way to genetic engineering. Most ethical issues deal with altering a living creature somehow.

Even though there are that would be people against eating “cloned” food, if there was a method developed that would perfectly clone corn or some or some other type of food, world hunger would be solved and eventually most people would be okay with it. However, if there was a perfected process of cloning a human, a lot of people would have a huge problem with it. Sounds a little hypocritical but I would probably take the same stance.

Biotech pertains with a lot more topic than cloning. Another major issue with biotechnology is the possibility of genetic enchantments. We would all love to be able to run sixty mile per hour, or jump over a building but society as a whole would turn into chaos. A good example of this is the movie “The Terminator.”

The Terminator

The Terminator

RoboCop

RoboCop

A more realistic future prediction of biotechnology would be the movie “Robocop.” The main character suffers a server accident, and the only way he could be saved was to implant his brain into a bionic suit. End ends up turning into a super cop. Both these movies essentially show the extreme pros and cons of genetic engineering; super cop that saves everybody, and violent “Terminators.”

Another issue with biotechnology and genetics is its affects on sports. The issue with steroids is already a very big deal, and some people get very offended when players use steroids, just off the fact that they are performing exceptionally well due to reasons aside from natural talent. Biotechnology offers a way that athletes can modify their own performance but it will be undetectable. As covered in this article I found called “Will Genetics Destroy Sports?” The article covers gene therapy and an experiment that shows the affects of it. The results from his experiment on mice were positive, and he had buff mice. The scientist makes a comment that I found very interesting,

“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was actively setting up to do it right now,” he says. “It’s not that expensive, especially if you are just going to do it to a small population of athletes.”

This is where the ethical debate begins. In today’s society, gene doping is a very serious topic, as related with steroids. Gene doping is actually on the Olympic committee prohibited list. Whenever there is an ethical debate, there is usually money involved. It is not hard to image how much money would be in a business that could genetically alter athletes to be the best of the best. Whether the real reason people push for genetic engineering is money or just to see how far the human body can go, it is a path that has many road blocks placed by society.

http://discovermagazine.com/2004/jul/will-genetics-destroy-sports

Biotechnology is a very touchy topic. The moral and ethical debates that can be derived from this field of study are endless. It seems that the major debates in this field seem to be a mainstream topic of discussion, in one way or another. I think this may be the case because people can relate to this field the most since they are living creatures and they all interact with technology.

By Gaurav Bansal

Week 6 Biotech

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

After Professor Vesna’s lecture on biotechnology this past week, I have begun to realize the extent to which biotechnology affects our lives.  As it combines disciplines from all across the spectrum – genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology, cell biology and robotics and more – biotechnology has the potential to do just about anything.   With the newfound ability to genetically modify the DNA of a species or even “improve” upon certain aspects of a species, humans can alter biological organisms to better suit their needs; To an extent, it is as if humans now are playing the role of God.

 

While this could lead to much great advancement in medicine, agriculture and such, it also brings to light a whole new level of dangers that we will have to worry about.  Most of these dangers involve – and will probably always involve – bio-ethics, like whether animals and living beings should be used as experiments for scientists or “canvases” for artists or whether humans should explore the frontier of human cloning.  At this point, technology has become so advanced that the question for us is no longer about whether we can do it but rather, should we do it?  Is it immoral for scientists to use animals for experimentation?  And moreover, should artists, like French artist and scientist Eduardo Kac who injected a green fluorescent protein into the fertilized egg of an albino rabbit and called it ‘art’, be able to use animals as a canvas for their pieces?  Personally, I understand the benefits that come from animal testing, but for art, I don’t think so.  However, the fine line between experimentation and exploitation in this case differs from person to person.

 

Biotechnology also paves the way for more extreme possibilities.  Naturally, genetic changes have so far occurred only on a small scale and over a relatively large amount of time.  With today’s advancements in medicine and science, however scientists have been able to change that; they can now go as far as to successfully “reprogram” one cell into a different type of cell and engineer a replacement for certain tissues in the human body - and Juan Enriquez, chairman and CEO of the research and investment firm, Biotechonomy, says there is no reason why these procedures involving cell transformation and tissue generation can’t be applied on a greater scale, like human-design.  He suggests that these advancements could lead to a greater possibility, where humans themselves will eventually be able to take control of their own evolution and design a more genetically-advanced species of humans, which Enriquez christens as Homo Evolutis.   Read about it at: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/Story?id=6854658&page=2

 

It is probably safe to say that biotechnology is a field that holds a lot of promise.   I sincerely hope that we will use our new-found capabilities with responsibility. 

Michie Cao

Week 6: The (non)Threat of Cloning by Leah Sitler

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This week in class, we talked about biotechnology.  The field seems limitless, with endless possibilities and opportunities.  Humans are now able to control the one thing that seemed uncontrollable: genetics.  We are able to predict and constrain the one thing that seemed out of our grasp: life.  The powers associated with biotechnology can be used for good or for bad; destruction or production.  If the information and technology went into the wrong hands, it is easy to imagine the horrors and destruction that could be caused by bioterrorism.  There are already extensive measures being taken to prepare for or prevent bioterrorist attacks.

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bioterrorism/index.html

On the opposite end of the spectrum, many have high hopes and expectations for biotechnology.  The cure and prevention of diseases, the improvement of food, and the overall enhancement of life are all very enticing prospects that deserve to be researched.  

tomato

However, I think people are placing a lot of emphasis hopes and dreams in biotechnology.  We are looking to it as the cure for pain and suffering.  The cure for psychological issues and physical ailments.  We are trying to circumvent pain and suffering and death and all the things that make us…well…human.  

While cloning humans is a foreign and therefor frightening concept to me, I can’t help but think…what’s the point?  Why would you want to recreate someone’s genetic makeup? You are not recreating that person.  To me what makes a person far transcends their genetic predispositions.  It is their personality, their experiences, their hobbies and their beliefs that make them who they are.  I know all these things can be attributed to DNA at some level, but I simply cannot accept that the formation of an individual personality and identity can be traced 100% back to their protein arrangements.  

One of the examples that stands out to me from class is perhaps one that was not very titillating at first glance.  It wasn’t until after class did the connotations hit me.  The example was of the cloned trees raised in different conditions, and how different they turned out.  It proved that genetics weren’t everything.  It showed that the environment and the experience are what define the individual, not the genes.  At the core, all of the trees were identical, but it is quite obvious that they are not the same tree.  Cloning is neat and cool and fun, but there is no way there are going to be 200 “Leah”’s running around tricking my friends and doing my laundry for me anytime soon.  In fact, I think that if someone had my exact genetic makeup as me and they were brought up during this time in history, she would turn out much different from me.

Week 6: Biotechnology

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Will the food be safe?

Will the food be safe?

Biotechnology contributes little to our natural world. Like Carol Gigliotti states in her essay, biotechnology will in the later future decrease genetic variation, one of the vary things that is needed for evolution, and it will ultimately destroy nature. With biotechnology I believe people will start to loose interest in maintaining the components of the natural world safe from extinction, because they would depend on new technologies to simply reproduce new species and even food in the labs. Just today, for example, I wanted to do a baloney sandwich so I grabbed the bread the cheese the mayonnaise and the baloney. I like my bread toasted and my baloney cooked so I put my baloney in a pan and start to cook it. It comes to my attention that I hear no sizzle sound, and there is no “fatty juice” coming out from the baloney. Instead it looks really dried up, old and rubbery. I then look at the package and read that it’s 98% fat free, I turned the package around to read the ingredients and the first thing it say its ” mechanically separated turkey”. It was quite disgusting to see how fake it looked. The point is, that anything that is not natural is no longer “real”. Personally, I agree with Gigliotti’s stand on biotechnology. It is not a good thing to associate with art, to me it taints its aura, by making the mistreatment of animals acceptable. Even though they might say that techniques are being created to lessen or not even cause pain the animals It is still wrong. If biotechnology advances what will become of animals and even humans in the future?

The future?
The future?

-Jessica Amaya

Week6_Biotechnology? Helpful or Harmful?

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Week6_Biotechnology? Helpful or Harmful?

Biotechnology and genetics manipulation in itself have always been very controversial topics.  Conservative communities and religious bodies continuously argue against manipulating “God’s Work” or changing “natural ways” in uncanny unnatural manners.  But like all growing fields of study, biotechnology and related fields of study are here and only growing in momentum and will not be halted on fear of what could potentially go wrong. In this article of 1998, (http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.salonmagazine.com/news/1998/01/08news.html), a physician entrepreneur Richard Seed opens a human cloning clinic to help infertile couples have babies.  The reaction to such biotechnology is expected. Religious Christian leaders view Seed as a modern Dr. Frankenstein, who is using science to violate the holiness of human life.  Furthermore, many people hoped to pass legislation that would ban the possibility of human cloning forever.  With or without animate opposition or sci-fi movies blatantly warning the evils of an experiment gone wrong, there will always be that one innovative scientist who will inevitably try the new.  While the suspicion and desire to halt biotechnology’s work is reasonable, halting biotechnology’s progress is not only selfish, but also self-destructive.  Biotechnology and its new inovations are constantly providing new discoveries, which will save lives, help feed thousands more, and overall improve our lives.  I personally believe this progress is good and necessary for society’s progress.
Biotechnology is pioneering the new frontier, discovering new medicines and remedies that will help the world.  But is it worth messing with the “natural way” of things, or killing animals in the process?  I have always believed in the greater good.  If one life could save two lives, then the sacrifice is worth it.  Thus, I believe that biotechnology and experimentation on animals, which may kill several hundred animals but may save thousands of human lives, is a worthwhile trade.
Biotechnology’s influences have majorly influenced and improved medical health care, crop production, and more.  Biotechnology has increased the yield of beer and dairy products, decreasing prices and providing sustenance for more people.  Another example is the use of naturally present bacteria to clean in the mining industry.  Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities.  The human benefit far outweighs the few questionable moral issues.

Biotechnology + food = more!

Biotechnology + food = more!

Bigger, Bigger, Healthier Food!

Bigger, Bigger, Healthier Food!

Genetics in biotechnology also falls in a large morally gray zone.  Last quarter I took an intro to psychobiology class, and I learned many different states related to harnessing human genetics.  Some studies showed the correlation between an IQ of a biological parent and its child to be roughly .48, while an adoptive parent to an adoptive child had IQ correlations to be roughly .22.  Identical twins reared apart had a correlation of .80, while children reared together had IQ correlated to be .38.  These patterns can be further refined and can help scientists conclude what genetic factors actually influence someone’s education level and what external factors alter this person’s life.  How can this help? Policy makers could use this information and direct the necessary funds towards school, or genetics, helping to efficiently allocate the nation’s funds across its schools.  Understanding genetics and intelligence is the start of making the future smarter, which will provide a better society.  Vaccines, new medicine, improved food, and transplants only scrape the surface of the potential benefits of biotechnology, but what about bio-art? My approval of biotechnology only stems from the wish to see beneficial, scientific, results.  The manipulation of human bodies, animal beings, or even plants for the use of simple expression seems like an unreasonable, uncalled for sacrifice.  Furthermore, such manipulation can cross into a gray, sci-like danger zone, which if avoided, should be.

Morally Gray, and not Beneficial

Morally Gray, and not Beneficial

by: Jason Kwok

W6: The Line by Stephanie Mercier

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This week in class and in both readings, Eduardo Kac’s “GFP Bunny” was mentioned. I first saw the picture of the bunny on the course website. I thought it was just some edited picture not a real green bunny. When I found out it was really green I was amazed, until I found out that it was only green under certain light.

GFP bunny in normal light

GFP bunny in normal light

Note: As I was searching for pictures of the GFP bunny on google, I noticed that many of the pictures were linked from last year’s DESMA 9 blog.

In the article “Leonardo’s choice: the ethics of artists working with genetic technologies” by Carol Gigliotti, she mentions that many artists have released some of their new life forms into the environment. This is a little unsettling. I watched the movie Resident Evil Apocalypse recently. In the movie, a scientist creates a super zombie to track down his secret weapon (Alice) and I remember thinking, “Wow! What a stupid idea – that is so going to backfire.” A similar scenario comes to mind when I think of artists releasing genetically engineered animals into the wild. For example, an artist creates some genetically engineered bacteria and releases the bacteria into the wild. The bacterium gains some advantage through the genetic modification and starts to dominate its environment. In the case of the GFP bunny, I believe the release of the animal would probably have no effect. I don’t see how it would be advantageous to be fluorescent under certain light; rather it would make the bunny more visible to predators. According to natural selection, GFP bunnies and other GFP animals would just die off.

Another unsettling thing about GFP bunnies and biotechnology and animals is “what do they do with the rejects?” I wonder how many times it took Eduardo Kac to successfully produce his GFP bunny. I’m sure he didn’t succeed on his first try. If he injected all these bunnies with the protein that made them glow and they didn’t end up glowing could he just release those bunnies back into the wild and start with a new bunny? Doesn’t sound ethical. I mean how are we supposed to tell whether the experiment has any affect on them and how that effect will affect the environment? Do we just kill the rejects then? One episode of robot chicken details what Cobra (GI Joe’s enemy) does with its clone rejects:

(Specific scene is 5 mins into the video.)

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_ch00XMjMwNTgxOTY=.html

Would we do what Cobra does and kill off the rejects? Maybe. My friend works as a lab assistant at UCSD. He assists with some research with rats (I’m not sure exactly what the research is about). After they are put through their experiment, their DNA is tested and the rejects are put to death by gas. We call him “Rat Hitler”, but he replies “they’re only rats.” But what if they’re not only rats? Are we okay with putting reject bunnies to death? What about reject dogs?

In the following article, the author talks about chimeric creatures, or creatures with both human and animal characteristics.

http://docinthemachine.com/2007/03/27/humansheep/

The most recent chimera is a human-sheep chimera with the body of a sheep and half-human organs. Specifically, the human-sheep chimera is composed of 15% human cells and 85% sheep cells. The purpose is to eventually breed these chimera as a donor animals. For example, if a patient needed a new liver, we could transplant the organs from a sheep enhanced with the patient’s DNA to the patient. But if the sheep is composed of 15% human cells, isn’t this like killing a human? No? What about 50%? What about 90%? Where do we draw the line?

-Stephanie Mercier

Biotechnology by Jessica Young

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This weekend while I was watching the 1970s blockbuster hit The Boys From Brazil, I was struck by the parallel between the concepts of cloning presented in the movie, and the study of biotechnology which was examined during lecture this week. Although the movie was released three decades ago, its message is resounding and transcends the passage of time. The movie shows that although we may have the capability to create genetic duplicates, we are unable to create a duplicate person in the sense of experience and exposure. In The Boys From Brazil, Dr. Josef Mengele (played by Gregory Peck) is a former Nazi living in Brazil who’s life work has been to preserve Adolf Hitler’s dream of creating the Aryan Race. At the culmination of his years of experimenting with genetics, he feels confident that he has succeeded in attaining this impossible dream, now all that’s left is the dirty work of recreating the conditions of Hitler’s childhood. He places the 94 successfully cloned babies up for adoption in various countries around the world. The babies are given to couples where the husband is a significantly older, domineering, blue collar worker and the mother is a simple, meek, country girl who dotes on her son and is completely submissive to her husband. After the boys have matured for fourteen years, Mengele hires former Nazis to recreate Hitler’s adolescence by killing off the boys’ fathers in a manner that is seemingly accidental, as according to Hitler’s experience. However, all does not go according to plan when Ezra, a Jew who has devoted his life to hunting the Nazis that once hunted him, catches on to what Mengele has planned. At the very end of the movie, a fight ensues in which the truth of what the doctor has created becomes glaringly evident. These boys are completely uncontrollable and unpredictable. They may all possess mannerisms similar to those that Hitler possessed, but they are by no means the same as their father of sorts.

In Skye Hawthorne’s (BioArts’ founder Lou Hawthorne’s son) science project entitled “Cloning Grandma’s Dog,” Hawthorne examines the similarities and differences between dogs and their cloned counterparts. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/garden/01clones.html?_r=1  The results of this experiment were unprecedented, proving that the cloned animals shared only 77% of the characteristics associated with the original animal. Specific results included that that Mira (the cloned dog) shared Missy’s fondness for broccoli, lots of snuggles and long walks. However, they varied in that Missy used to jump into cars, whereas the clone was still having trouble just distinguishing the family car, and the original animal hated camera flashes, whilst the clone did not respond to standard flash at all.

cloned-dogs

Although the idea of cloning has become more and more popular in recent years, both scientists and political leaders need to think seriously before sanctioning further research. As more and more individuals gain access to the technology responsible for cloning, the chance of having an individual cloned behind the back of the government becomes a greater reality. If we are not willing to deal with all the complications and repercussions of such experimentation, then why are we still pushing the boundaries of genetic experimentation? If we do not intend to use such technology, then why do we insist on developing it further and further?

the-boys-from-brazil