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We finally really did it.
November 16, 2007 11:04 AM   Subscribe

First cloning of monkey embryo raises hope of a great leap in medical science. A team at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (itself no stranger to controversy) cloned embryos from Semos — a nine-year-old rhesus macaque named after the ape overlord in Planet of the Apes — then extracted stem cells from the embryos. We've heard similar claims before and they turned out to be a hoax. But this time it looks like the real deal.

First FPP, please have mercy ...
posted by Camofrog (53 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The named the monkey after the ape overlord in Planet of the Apes? Isn't that a little like naming a spaceship's vital life support systems computer Hal?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:11 AM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I for one welcome the ape overlord in the Planet of the Apes.
posted by DU at 11:11 AM on November 16, 2007


(It looks like Semos is from the 2001 version which...I mean....come on.)
posted by DU at 11:14 AM on November 16, 2007


This will no doubt be copied with humans. Monkey Semos, monkey do.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:17 AM on November 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


If this is the kind of monkey that you can dress in a 3 piece suit and make him walk around with a briefcase and a cigar, then I am indeed intrigued by the science here.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:26 AM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is there no love for Dr. Zeus?
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 AM on November 16, 2007


Astrozombie: The named the monkey after the ape overlord in Planet of the Apes? Isn't that a little like naming a spaceship's vital life support systems computer Hal?

Or naming the UK's state-of-the-art information warfare satellite system Skynet. (Yes, Skynet.)

Good first post IMO Camofrog. I found this story really interesting.
posted by WPW at 11:32 AM on November 16, 2007


Man, Oregon is so badass. What can't we do?! Hippie communes in proximity of survivalist networks, a badass volcano, The Enchanted Fores, world-renowned cheese, The Simpsons and now CLONING.

It simply does not end, folks.
posted by nonmerci at 11:52 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I plan on naming my first male child Adolph Hitler. I think this will ensure that he will grow up to be a loving, well-adjusted human being. I mean, really -- what are the odds that there'd be two evil Adolph Hitlers? Not good, I'd wager.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:56 AM on November 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


Great, now if we could only clone orangutans we'd really be in business.
posted by brevator at 11:57 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


First cloning of monkey embryo raises hope of a great leap in medical science bestiality pedophiles in Borneo
posted by turaho at 11:59 AM on November 16, 2007


what are the odds that there'd be two evil Adolph Hitlers? Not good, I'd wager.

This is why I always carry a bomb in my luggage when I fly. The odds of being on a plane with two bombers is way lower than having just one.
posted by GuyZero at 12:02 PM on November 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


This will be quite a boon for literature when we can clone a million or two of these suckers and put them down in front of typewriters.
posted by SBMike at 12:11 PM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]



(It looks like Semos is from the 2001 version which...I mean....come on.)


Tim Burton is DEAD to me. DEAD to me I say!

I plan on naming my first male child Adolph Hitler.

I wanted to name my first boy "Atilla." But, in a fit of irrational contrariness, my wife wanted "Molecule." So the matter was dropped.
posted by tkchrist at 12:11 PM on November 16, 2007


Dr Zaius, koeselitz.
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:24 PM on November 16, 2007


You Maniacs! You cloned it! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
posted by quin at 12:26 PM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well you know what Darwin said about where we came from. Going back to there is fair play
posted by Postroad at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2007


...and who needs women? here, monkey as sex slave
http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n10/htdocs/yo1.php?country=us
posted by Postroad at 12:28 PM on November 16, 2007


(I'll leave be the misspelling of Hitler's forename. That jerk deserves to be misspelled.)
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:28 PM on November 16, 2007


What the hell to we need more monkeys for!?
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 12:35 PM on November 16, 2007


Great post camo. From the wealth of moronic comments so far I'm not sure how many people read the articles, but I was wondering if anyone would pick up on this. My sense is that this may bring us closer to cloning human embryos, which is a tremendous hornet's nest. Nothing I've read suggests that they could use this research toward human applications otherwise.
posted by docpops at 12:40 PM on November 16, 2007


They gonna shave it and pimp it?
What are animal rights currently? Seems like if we eventually engineer them into mini-us’s we’re going to have a slave class. Granting horses, et.al working animals, are in a sort of slave position.
I was going to say that’s different from mutating and cloning an animal to adapt to us, but we’ve done that quite a bit already really.

So - monkey butlers?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:42 PM on November 16, 2007


(without getting into other implications ala’ “The Island” and such, for humans, and indeed, what would be the rights of a clone? the whole “Killed the embryos” thing is going to resonate)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:45 PM on November 16, 2007


hey hey we're the monkees.
people say we monkey around.
but they're too busy clonin'...
posted by ZachsMind at 12:54 PM on November 16, 2007


If Cloning Humans is Wrong, So Is Cloning Monkeys
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on November 16, 2007


What would be the rights of a clone?

Well, for a human clone, they would be human rights.
posted by WPW at 12:56 PM on November 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


and for a monkey clone, some of those excellent monkey rights will be lavished upon him/her
posted by luriete at 1:00 PM on November 16, 2007


Well, for a human clone, they would be human rights.

No,no, no. Clones aren't people. They'd have Hoomin Rytz, or something. You know, like Froot Loops?

Actually, when we get around to doing people we should probably call them "Klones" or "klonz", so folks don't get the idea that they're the same thing as animal clones.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:07 PM on November 16, 2007


No,no, no. Clones aren't people. They'd have Hoomin Rytz, or something. You know, like Froot Loops?

Live free or dyad!
posted by WPW at 1:08 PM on November 16, 2007


Okay, so to an intelligent observer this would seem to pave the way to the following: if you were to suffer a disease wherein stem cells could help you (Parkinson's e.g.) then using this technique you could clone an embryo of yourself and harvest from that embryo super-fantastic juicy pluripotent stem cells.

Now, assuming President Bush can be made to understand this, would he be willing to sign a waiver denying this technology to him, come what may, because it is 'wrong'?

In a perfect world politicians would be held to this standard. They would not be allowed to deny it to suffering people now, then sleaze out of the deal later once they were out of the public eye.

I would love to be the physician who, twenty years hence, says with honest regret to George W "Yes, we have technology that can restore your pathetic tremoring self to full normality. But it's out of my hands. How about some L-dopa?"
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:14 PM on November 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


Or naming the UK's state-of-the-art information warfare satellite system Skynet. (Yes, Skynet.)

You have got to be fucking kidding.
posted by brundlefly at 1:16 PM on November 16, 2007


What's more, there are indications that ORPRC may have violated its own standards for how much current is applied to a monkey, and records reviewed by WW show at least one instance in which heat built up under the bands and burned a monkey's penis.

How many things can you find that are wrong with this picture?
posted by Reggie Digest at 1:17 PM on November 16, 2007


My sense is that this may bring us closer to cloning human embryos, which is a tremendous hornet's nest. Nothing I've read suggests that they could use this research toward human applications otherwise.

I think the idea here is that if they can clone a monkey, cloning a human is pretty much a done deal, since we are biologically almost indistinguishable. I'm a little surprised this story didn't get more play, since it's huge news. Once bitten twice shy I guess after the fraudulent claim of a few years ago.
posted by Camofrog at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2007


Is this what is meant by "INTELLIGENT DESIGN"?
posted by Rancid Badger at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2007


“Well, for a human clone, they would be human rights.”

Howabout a mixed monkey-human clone? Or a human looking clone with a monkey brain?
The obvious medical advantages aside - where’s the line between product and, well, not product?
I’m thinking in context of frankenfoods, etc.
It’s easy to crap on Bush and other asshats opposed to stem cell usage, but the problem with that debate is the focus on it disregards other ethical considerations and unintended consequences of technology (not that we can restrict it - but certainly you don’t want a Monsanto situation where they sue you for using your own seed corn and such - because it’s not “you” that’s cloning an embryo of yourself nor is it “you” that’s harvesting it - I’m not saying this is what right to lifers have in mind - but merely because they oppose something does not mean there isn’t the potential for ethical convolution inherent in how we utilize the technology. Indeed - will you own your own embryo? Your own DNA?)
On the macro level we’ve seen people will screw apes.
Well, why not engineered sex puppets? And is there something wrong with that? What if they have brains that only regulate metabolic function - no sentience at all?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:51 PM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


(and indeed, there's a lot of humans now who have been deprived of their human rights)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:52 PM on November 16, 2007


If Cloning Humans is Wrong, So Is Cloning Monkeys

Agreed, and while full-on cloning may be the inevitable outcome, this research is supposedly aimed at simply creating embryos from which stem cells can be harvested in order to grow replacement organs, etc.
posted by Camofrog at 1:53 PM on November 16, 2007


Great! Now we can clone the sexiest monkey out there, and have sex with it.
posted by tehloki at 2:01 PM on November 16, 2007


Humane Rights?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:09 PM on November 16, 2007


Smedleyman: I wasn't implying that there aren't ethical considerations around this sort of technology, but you're talking about genetic engineering, not cloning. I'm aware that the fields are closely linked, but this much is quite simple: an exact copy of you you should the exact same rights as you. And those are the universal human rights. They're still universal even if many people are deprived of them.

As for engineered hybrids, sex puppets and so on, yes, there are serious ethical questions there. But the fact that the questions exist isn't a good reason to shun the technology. The technology doesn't add to or subtract from the sum of human cruelty.
posted by WPW at 2:23 PM on November 16, 2007


of you you should

Whoops, cloned you.
posted by WPW at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2007


This statement is going to make me sound old, but stuff like this really makes it hit home that we are living in an age of wonders. Cloning. It is just incredible.
posted by ND¢ at 2:39 PM on November 16, 2007


This makes me worry about the future of my career.

Not in an ethical sense, mind you, but how many of you can honestly say you couldn't be replaced by a pair of cloned monkeys?
posted by Dr. Spaceman at 2:47 PM on November 16, 2007


I can -- it would only take 1.3.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:56 PM on November 16, 2007


If cloning you is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

hey. someone was bound to say it sooner or later.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:29 PM on November 16, 2007


This is amazing, for the stem cell harvesting implications alone.

This statement is going to make me sound old, but stuff like this really makes it hit home that we are living in an age of wonders.

I feel the same way. It seems to me that the medical advances of the 21st century are going to dwarf the technological advances of the 20th century, in terms of their impact on humankind. Of course, the former wouldn't exist without the latter, so I don't feel too bad not forsaking my tech career to go back to school for a triple major targeting bioinformatics, AI, and nanotechnology.

There may be an issue of ambition fatigue in there too.
posted by Brak at 3:50 PM on November 16, 2007


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

We shouldn't be cruel to androids. Or clones.Or sheep
posted by ersatz at 5:08 PM on November 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


Clones are people two!
posted by spiderwire at 5:40 PM on November 16, 2007


Man, Oregon is so badass. What can't we do?!

Leave the house, 'cause it's raining. Apparently, that's good for productivity.
posted by spiderwire at 6:16 PM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I can't wait. As soon as they got them growing I am going to apply for a third eye. All that spiritual stuff isn't working for me. I want to perceive the world through seeing spectacles...in triplicate.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 11:01 PM on November 16, 2007


Man, Oregon is so badass. What can't we do?!

Leave the house, 'cause it's raining. Apparently, that's good for productivity.
posted by spiderwire at 6:16 PM on November 16 [2 favorites +] [!]


I don't know what pussy Oregonians you've been hanging out with, but where I come from we shun umbrellas and face the rain without a second thought. It's part of life, man, and considering the fact that it rains in a sort of bullshit mist fashion that hardly gets you wet it's not hard to adapt.
posted by nonmerci at 3:00 AM on November 17, 2007


Why do they say that cloning primates is more difficult than cloning sheep? Seems like they are both higher mammals and should be about the same at the cellular level.
posted by afu at 6:54 AM on November 17, 2007


I don't know what pussy Oregonians you've been hanging out with...

Well, I grew up in the Cascades, 30 miles away from the nearest town. I often had to hike through blizzards to get home because the road hadn't been plowed. Does that count, city slicker?

(In case you're wondering, it was only uphill one way, but it was the way in, unfortunately.)

...but where I come from we shun umbrellas and face the rain without a second thought. It's part of life, man, and considering the fact that it rains in a sort of bullshit mist fashion that hardly gets you wet it's not hard to adapt.

Damp, wet, and gray is no way to get through life, son.

(You should try Austin, where we get the same amount of rain, but compressed into monsoon-like 15-minute bursts. Personally, I prefer "running madly for shelter" to "waiting for hours to leave shelter." It's much more exciting.)

Anyway, I'll stand by what I said earlier -- if Oregonians are more productive, it's probably 'cause they're stuck inside most of the time. :)
posted by spiderwire at 2:39 PM on November 17, 2007


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