X-Message-Number: 7750
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #7733 - #7746
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 18:37:53 -0800 (PST)


Re. Mr. Clark's posting:

I commented on it before (Prometheus-forum) but he also makes a statement 
about biological engineering "someone will insert the human genes for
surface proteins that the immune system uses to recognize..."

If I recall, this has already been done. There are other issues with 
xenotransplants, however. One (which rightly or wrongly has a number of 
people tied up in knots) is the problem of transmitted disease. Second is
the problem of making sure that (say) the pig kidney reacts physiologically
the way a human kidney does.

Just cloning someone is quite irrelevant to this technology. What you'd
want to know is the genes responsible. Once you know that, it's been known
for at least 5 and maybe more years how to create an animal containing
those genes. They now have an Alzheimer's mouse, for instance, which gets
Alzheimer's disease (they inserted the proper genes --- the brains of mice
don't work as well when they age, but normally they show no symptoms of 

I do NOT mean to say that issues such as disease are insolvable. On the
contrary, I think they can be solved. But this technology has very little
to do with cloning. And for organ replacement, it may have a big advantage,
in that we can get the needed organs more quickly by growing them in 
animals than by some elaborate arrangement starting with a human embryo.

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldsn

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