The uncertain life of a clone

Supporters of human cloning might promise the perfect child (or a perfect copy of one) but the truth is not so perfect, judging from experience with cloned animals. The most famous, Dolly the sheep, has showed signs of premature ageing, obesity and severe arthritis. Cloned mice have had heart defects. «A gallery of horrors» is how the cloning of apes has been described. Although the embryos appeared to be normal at the outset, not all the chromosomes made the transition to the cloned animal. And studies have shown that while the genetic material of the cloned mice was exactly the same as the original, it did not function properly, but rather as if the molecular switches had «gone crazy,» as one researcher said. Other problems were not detected – genetic anomalies that could be transferred from one generation to another, premature ageing and unexpected diseases written into the copied DNA. Publisher recovering