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Clumsy Clones

According to the "Time" magazine for July 10, 2006, the cloning of the sheep named Dolly occurred ten years ago this week. But cloning has not quite lived up to its 'miracle' status. Scientists have now cloned dozens of animals (including the recent clone of a dog) and it is "becoming increasingly clear that they are all, in one way or another, defective." This failure goes at the beginning of the process. Only 2% to 5% of the eggs that are cloned become live animals. It took 277 attempts to get Dolly.

But even those clones that live have other problems. Every living clone achieved so far has had serious physical problems not found in the original animal. The process of cloning is extremely flawed and the success rates have not improved in ten years of experimentation. Dolly developed arthritis at an early age and had shortened telomeres in her cells that indicated the age of her mother and not Dolly. Many clones are born larger than normal and have trouble breathing the first few weeks. The range of problems found in the clones is huge.

The problem continues into reproduction. The clones are able to bear normal young with normal mates (Dolly gave birth to five healthy lambs), but when clones are mated with one another the results are disastrous. So, although the processes designed by creation may be able to correct the flaws of the clones iin the next generation, these flaws multiply when both parents are clones. Now, more scientists are warning against the cloning of humans. Rudolf Jaenish, a geneticist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated, "I think we cannot make human reproductive cloning safe. And it's not a technological issue. It's a biological barrier. The pattern of methylation of a normal embryo cannot be recreated consistently in cloning." It seems that the scientists are not only unable to improve on God's methods; they are unable to match them.