• Question: What are your thoughts on cloning and cryogenic chambers?

    Asked by iheartprofiteroles to Cat, Daz, Holly, Johnson, Pamela on 17 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Holly Shelton

      Holly Shelton answered on 16 Jun 2011:


      Both these things are the subject of lots of science fanstasy series and both are controvestial in the real world. Cloning is the exact duplication of something and whilst in science its is sometimes good to be able to produce exact copies of things you want to study in real life clonng of individuals or plants or animals I don’t think is a good idea. The reason for this is that natural selection is a really important part of any species survival so if everything were identical just one virus or bacteria or other factor could wipe things out. We need diversity in any system.

      Cryogenic chambers are used in science sometimes too. For example we use cells to grow our viruses in and sometimes we want to store the exact cells we are using so we can come back to them at a different point so we place them in a very very very cold enviroment called liquid nitrogen that freezes them instantaneouly, we also put some preservative solutions in there too so when we thaw them they come back to life. A mini cryogenic chamber!!

      Thanks for the question


    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hi Iheartprofiteroles (so do i by the way…num num num num)

      So my personal thoughts on cloning and cryogenic chambers:

      Cloning: A couple of years back, I saw a tv show about a cloned horse. He was cloned from a champion barrell racing gelding (so a male horse that has his testicals removed so he can’t breed). This horse was amazing and the people who owned him were disgusted that they hadn’t kept him a stallion so he could breed. So what they did was spend A LOT of money and they got a cloned foal, that they hope to barrell race and breed in the future. And now there has been reports that other cloned horses have bred successfully too so it all looks like it worked out. This all seems very positive but saying this, i really really hope that this technology stays really expensive and will only be used for very limited cloning. I don’t think we’ll be able to stop people usign the technology now that we have it but I really hope it stays tightly restricted and DOES NOT happen in humans…….can you imagine if there was more than one of me, the world wouln’t be able to handle it

      And cryogenic chambers….if i ever wake up in one, I am going to be very angry and cold….probably more cold than angry!!

      What do you think about them? Do you think cloning of animals or humans should be allowed?


    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hi iheartprofiteroles

      Very cheeky making us hungry here! Especially with so many great questions to consider. Well, let’s tackle the easier one first – cryogenic chambers.

      Sure, in theory I think the technology to freeze someone alive may exist now, or very soon, but actually there is no way you can defrost them safely. A lot of the discussion about cryogenic chambers has been quite hopeful – you pay a load of money, get frozen and maybe survive, and then at some random time in the future, the human race finds a way to rescue you from the cold and bring you back to live. Of course, they make a giant assumption that the technology exists in the future, and that anybody of the future will care to defrost them!!!!

      The main problem with freezing is that it causes ice crystals to form, which destroy cells. In the lab, you can freeze bacteria and then defrost them for use later – but you have to treat them quite carefully and they are nowhere near as complex as human bodies are.

      Considering the other part of you question – cloning, Holly and Cat cover it quite well. Cloning offers mankind some remarkable technology and abilities, but it is using those abilities responsibly that is the problem. Sometimes in life, you can do something. Being able to do it doesn’t necessarily justify you do actually do it though.. It can be very dangerous technology, and some people have published some quite bad abuses of it.
      What do you think yourself?

      I hope this helps answer your question,