August 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


3 min read

“If I’m going to the trouble of cloning myself, I want the clone to be a copy of me!” I’m imagining what someone might say if they were told that their expensive and ethically dubious personal cloning efforts produced a clone that was somebody else instead of them. Even if the clone was very similar to the clonee, perhaps like a sibling who was nearly but not quite an identical twin, the clonee might be totally PO’d. When I think about “human “cloning” I …Read More

4 min read

Is monkey cloning a good idea? We’re about to find out. A new Cell paper today reports the first cloning of monkeys via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), raising many questions. The paper from a team led by Qiang Sun is entitled, “Cloning of Macaque Monkeys by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.” The highlight bullet points from the paper are the following: “•Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using fetal fibroblasts yielded two live monkeys •Epigenetic modulators promoted development and pregnancy rate of SCNT embryos •SCNT …Read More

1 min read

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the future of human reproduction might be very different from today’s reality due to recent technological advances including cloning. Things like human cloning (the reproductive, “Star Wars” kind) and human genetic modification seem very real now. It feels almost imminent in a sense compared to the milleenia of the “old fashioned” natural way of making babies. I find this technology both fascinating as a scientist and also mind-blowing as a science writer. In fact, I’ve become so …Read More

3 min read

If you’ve been paying attention to the stem cell world, you’ll remember Woo Suk Hwang, who nearly derailed the future of stem cell research by very publically proclaiming that he had made human embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). No, this has nothing to do with Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s report of successful generation of SCNT hESCs last year (reported by Paul at The difference is that Shoukhrat really did make human SCNT ESCs. Hwang did not.  He claimed that he had …Read More