Me, Myself, And I: The Pros And Cons Of Cloning Yourself

Me, Myself, And I: The Pros And Cons Of Cloning Yourself

It may happen sooner than you thought
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Have you wondered what it would be like to see a cloned version of yourself? Your dreams may come true. Perhaps maybe even in the next few years... Or months.

Xu Xiaochun, the Chinese scientist (and CEO of Boyalife Group) who led the creation of the world’s first cloning factory, says that he has already got the technology and is ready to take on this hotly debated task. Boyalife Group, a Chinese cloning company, is partnering with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation to build an animal cloning facility. This facility intends to clone humans as well.

Xu told AFP that his only concern about human cloning is that society doesn’t agree with it.

The cloning facility is set to open within the next few months in Tianjin. They plan on starting off cloning 100,000 cattle embryos a year and eventually increasing that number to 1 million cattle embryos a year. They also plan on cloning sniffer dogs, pet dogs, police dogs, beef cattle, and racehorses.

The purpose of the factory is to clone cattle for consumption, as a result of China’s beef shortage. Right now the company is not engaging in any human cloning activities, but they will once it becomes socially acceptable.

Xu pointed out that societal values can change as it has for homosexuality and that in the future humans might have more choices about reproduction. He said, “Maybe in the future you have three choices instead of one...You either have fifty-fifty, or you have a choice of having the genetics 100 percent from Daddy or 100 percent from Mummy. This is only a choice.”

The Pros:

  • It could completely eradicate all defective genes. Currently, genetic diseases are not a leading killer of people. However, it is quite possible that in the future this could change. As humans continue to reproduce, there is an increase in damage to their DNA lines, creating mutated genes which could be eliminated by cloning healthy human cells.
  • Cloning human cells can lower recovery time. So athletes who may have torn their ACLs or people who may become paralyzed in traffic incidents may be able to recover sooner, or for that matter, become fully healed.
  • The issue of infertility could be resolved. Despite there being many types of treatments for infertility, most are still ineffective, with only a small percentage being successful. With human cloning, infertile couples might be able to reproduce, reversing the issue of infertility.
  • Cancer may be cured. Perhaps the biggest pro to human cloning is that we may be able to cure cancer. This could hypothetically be achieved by switching cells on and off through cloning. Currently, scientists do not know how cells differentiate into specific types of tissues. They also don’t understand how cancerous cells lose their ability to differentiate. As a result, cloning may become an integral part of finding the cure for cancer and determining how cells differentiate or lose their ability to differentiate.

The Cons:

  • Premature death can occur. Since older cells would probably be used to create human clones, it is a likely situation that the growing embryos would adopt this age, which may lead to premature death. This would defeat the purpose of human cloning since many hope to achieve longevity by cloning humans.
  • Human cloning may lead to greater division among people. This is because clones who are discriminated against and are not treated as human beings can lead to social unrest and division. Since there is already a racially and socially divided gap in the world today, some people feel that human cloning will result in more divisions resulting in more harm.
  • Religion is a major deterrent in the human cloning process. Some people who have strong religious convictions oppose the process of cloning humans since they feel it would result in man becoming the creator, thereby replacing the role of God. As a result, many opinions on human cloning are religious-based rather than scientifically based. This may prevent human cloning from happening for years to come. (From a religious perspective, however, this would prevent the immoral process of human cloning).
  • It is immoral. Some people feel that cloning humans is flat out wrong and unconscionable. They feel that many pregnancies would be damaged to achieve just a single clone of an individual and that it’s just not worth the risk. Also, evidence suggests that clones may have defects that can lead to premature ageing and death. Bringing children into this world by cloning who may be affected by these problems, some argue, is unethical.

While the animal cloning factory is on its way, it may take a while, if ever, before you are talking to your very own replica.

Cover Image Credit: Gizmodo

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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