Sunday, September 25

Cloning ...

This post is a follow up to a BCC Documentary about cloning. I am a software guy and I will be bringing in some analogies to that later and use them for some arguments, so bear with me on that folks :).

Man always seeks to be god, In an eternal pursuit to win over the uncertainties of this world that rules over us. This characteristic is what sets us apart from other species in the planet. We choose the change the course as we see it.

Medical advances have increased the life-expectancy of a lot of people helping defy survival of the fittest to a certain degree. And the fore-front of today’s medical advances lies in technologies as stem cell research, genetics and cloning.

The 1st two many understand well and is subject to controversies as well, but the purpose of cloning to medical purpose is widely misconstrued. My first interest in this science (though very cursory) started with the book "Chromosome 66". I really liked the story and situations such as looking into the eyes of youself ;), being a captive to yourself, helping out yourself was an amazing thought, a good fiction indeed it was. Heard that the recent movie Island uses this for its plot. Okey no more digression :).

When people hear about cloning many imagine factories with embryos and developing bodies in assembly lines - Star Wars E2 would stand as an example for that ;) - the cloners making scores of Jango Fet’s (genetically altered). Looks like that galaxy far far away was not all that different technologically :). And of course horror stories of clones turned against and such crap. That is poor imagination :(. Why the interest of cloning to medicine? Is it a pure scientific pursuit of no consequence? Widely it is advertise as a means for people to have children who can't have one otherwise. But my belief is that cloning technology will specialize and prevail to provide replacement organs and body parts. And you own body’s stem cells n more which could help much more medicinal purpose.

So why all the apprehension about cloning? Most say it is unethical, that we tinker with god himself and such. Now I don't buy that, for you choose animals for you study but when it comes to man you are afraid. This is more like in men fearing the raising power of women during early periods. Surprising thing is that not enough opposition is raised against the untoward experiments with animals, while so with humans.

The problem in accepting this technology is the mishaps :(. Unable to exercise finer control, it is more often found that the genetic replication is not happening. The process is grossly infidel.

In humans the growth is controller by certain triggers set off precisely by our genome. This controls the size of various organs, by initiating their growth at the right times and stopping the growth when appropriate. Nature by itself makes mistakes and people with deformities and complications are born.I'd say that probably nature had as much flaw as the technology has today, producing flawed organism with no chance of survival. And over these eons, only that variations which is close to perfect has evolved and survived. Man on the other hand with our limited resource and time is trying the same, and expecting it to be flawless right away is not fair. I am not against condemning failings, but to deny a technology for such reasons, is imbecility. We don't stop doing something coz it didn't turn right, but we practice more to perfect it. That is science and the very tenet of humans.

Under laboratory conditions the replication is so imperfect that animals have been found to have arteries very large, while their heart is not able to pump blood. The possibilities of mishaps are limitless. The morbid fear of seeing such human disaster is seeking help from ethics and laws to keep the brave restrained. Scientists have always been in shackles on sensitive issues, and with time they have always surfaced.

I see a similar pattern in software as well. There are various kinds of software, some critical as flight control, medical equipment and some non-critical life enhancers as consumer software and such. So the attention drawn is commensurate to the perceived criticality. A system built with about 200 hands, it is very likely that one individual could misinterpret an others expression. This gives way to anomalies in the system, just as improper triggers from the human genome could set a cascade of untoward repercussions. System's crash, life FAILS. That’s why!!!

Just to mention that software is just as vulnerable as nature. When 1000's of parameter is a genome set things right, and the possibility of some going wrong can give way to a faulty creation, why is that software people subject to burlesque to such extents? I am not justifying flawed software, but you have to understand the complexity involved.

Just in support of s/w professionals, I'd compare a PC game against one that it written for an XBOX, PS and such. PC games never seem to be good enough. People complaint the graphics skips frames, too much disk access, network delays n all. While in XBOX or PS the game just seems to work fine as pristine as always. Reason, the environment that the s/w is subject to in PC is so variant that its is very hard to satisfy a whole lot, while in XBOX n PS the game are so tweaked to the well established environment.

I believe that human reproduction mechanism, the egg, sperm, embryo are all tailored to function very very close to perfect under their natural condition. Move them to laboratory conditions are you are in for surprises :). Stanching such technology (cloning) is the name of ethics in is absurd in my opinion, but harboring it under strict recommendations and regulations to avoid untoward happenings is a much more conducive option.

lets conclude with this famous quote - "Man achieves excellence, God achieves perfection" ... and as man expands his envelop of excellence, so much further he sees spans the envelope of perfection :) ... think folks

darn my office ... posting @ blogger does not work ... so I use blogger for word ... and that god damn thing removes all the formatting ... X-( grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! now its better ... hope the breakup is intact ... luks better 2 me :D

4 Comments:

At Thursday, September 29, 2005 6:42:00 AM, Blogger senthil natarajan said...

good one mate!

 
At Thursday, September 29, 2005 9:49:00 AM, Blogger SamY said...

thnx mate ;) ... vetti works of course

wow ... we sure miss our gang here ... coffee n lunch times r not what it used to be there

no country wood & phone gang gossips :( ... waiting for u all to join us here :)

 
At Thursday, September 29, 2005 8:36:00 PM, Blogger ekantha said...

Have you ever considered that genetic technology could be the next step in human evolution? It's either that or an exposure to radiation that causes a self-induced change in humans. Think about it, do we really want to be allowing a scientist whose motivations are unknown to determine what is churned out of the human factory? Are we ready with the technology to control such a field? - NO

 
At Thursday, September 29, 2005 9:29:00 PM, Blogger SamY said...

well when our beloved scientists invented the atomic bomb n stuff they didn't realize what it wud bring in ... but u see @ least here therz so much caution ...

the fact is ... science cannot be restrained ... if you do it will be harboured in secrecy ... it will prevail

well for that matter even a pen in a mans hand can cause so much of a wrong influence in the society ... don't u think

this is an amazing technology as u already empathize it ... but since we don't seem to be in control we are afraid ... maybe ur letting ur imagination go wild having seen X-Men ... it is inevitable ... cyborgs do exist today in places like MIT (no not like the way they show in cartoons or movies) ... just that they ain't accepted

have you seen "Dark Angel" by cameroon ... it is about such genetically altered humans ... use and misuse of any technology will prevail ... what is unethical to our today would be ethical tomorrow

socialization was not ethical with out previous generations and ones b4 that ... it was taboo ... but today it ain't so ... likewise, our generation may be reluctant ... I'd rather tune myself to accept the technology looking at it positive side ... negatives are there to stay ... to expect exercising controle if fair ... but not stanchin it ... don't u think so (apprehensions apart)?

 

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