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New at Reason: Cloned meat is on its way. Ron Bailey says "dig in!"

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  1. To quote the Capitol Steps:

    Everybody must get cloned!

  2. How can cloning be remotely profitable?

  3. But will I have to worry about high cholesterol from eating “Fat Chance”?

  4. D.A. Ridgely, if you’re worried about that, you could eat Slim Chance!

  5. Attack of the Bovines directed by George Moocas?

    Hahaha! Ha…….ha..ha? Ha. 🙁

  6. JB,

    If you happen to have an animal that is particularly disease-resistant, then you can gain considerable benefit from risk-reduction — as just one example.

  7. and starring Demi Moore?

  8. Mark A.,

    True, but the methods are still pretty crude and the failure rate as far I know is pretty high.

  9. Yes, but will cloned animals have souls?

    I only eat food from animals with souls, you know.

    Mmmm… Soul.

  10. “First, people already regularly eat lots of clones, that is, cloned fruits and vegetables. This includes most wine grapes, and all seedless grapes. Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Gala apples are all clones, as are garlic and most blueberries”

    Don’t forget what you are packing in your bongs!

  11. Jean Bart,

    I think the idea is to clone a “stud” who is past his prime. Then the clone could produce thousands of offspring.

  12. If cloning is hard to do repeatedly, would it be possible to manufacture male and female animals that differed only by including two identical X chromosomes in the female. In that case it seems like the animals could breed the old-fashioned way and yet their offspring would be clones of their mother or father.

    Would this even work?

    I thought I remember something like this being done with fruit flies for genetic research.

  13. Xerox:

    I see, so they aren’t cloning for mass production, but for breeding animals? That makes a little more sense.

  14. Larry,

    The biggest issue with clone animals as far as I can tell is they tend to be less robust than non-cloned animals. I’m not quite sure why this is.

  15. I’m still waiting for meat grown in a dish. The day I can buy a small swab at the market, stick it in a tupperware container on my countertop and end up with a 32oz steak a week later is a grand day indeed!

  16. ?If cloning is hard to do repeatedly, would it be possible to manufacture male and female animals that differed only by including two identical X chromosomes in the female. In that case it seems like the animals could breed the old-fashioned way and yet their offspring would be clones of their mother or father.

    Would this even work??

    Well, no. Each parent only provides half of the genetic material combined. Thus only half of the parent?s genes are used in any one offspring. The result is that, depending which random sample of parential genes gets combined two parents can produce very different offspring. (I have two daughters. Trust me. I know whereof I speak.)

    This might be reduced if both parents shared most of their genetic background, but it wouldn?t be eliminated. Each sperm or egg would still be a product of the random gene sort, and then the result the product of the two sorts.

  17. All I know is that I wish someone would have cloned that steak I had at Texas Land & Cattle the other night. Mmmmmmm. Steak.

  18. JB,

    I’ve read it has to do with the age of the chromosomes. The ends of them unravel with age, so using the same old pair from the mother’s somatic cells leads to aging related problems sooner than if the clone had a freshly minted set of genes.

  19. Larry, (with the link)

    I think you’re misunderstanding my question.

    My two hypothetical animals share every chromosome except for the fact that the female has two identical X chromosomes. In that case all male offspring would be identical twins with all other male offspring and likewise for the females.

    Step 1: find male animal you like.

    Step 2: clone it.

    Step 3: clone it except take out Y chromosome and substitute a copy of the X chromosome.

    Step 4: Play soft music, provide white zinfandel and let nature take its course.

    Result: cloned offspring.

    Is this possible?

  20. What would Dakar thinK? Her opinion is highly influential, she is capable of getting a whole town to like the skunks, the bears, and flowers, without hating motels and suv’s!

    If eating cloned meat is the future, it rests in the hands of Dakar.

  21. I think that cloning will eventually be very good for the meat industry. But I have some reservations and I think that the proponents are a little too quick to dismiss safety concerns. The high failure rate for cloning bothers me, especially since, as far as I know, some reasons for the failures are unknown. It seems likely that some seemingly healthy clones have real problems that simply don’t result in the death of the animal. It’s possible that these unidentified and non-lethal problems could manifest themselves in substandard or even dangerous meat and/or milk.

    Am I wrong?

  22. Cloning addresses one of the major problems of breeding beef cattle – you can’t know how tender, marbled, tasty, whatever a given cow is until you kill it and eat it. If it had desirable traits, well, too late now. (This is alleviated for bulls because you can store their semen.)

    With clones, you can taste-test an animal, and if its does well, you can clone it up and start breeding it.

  23. JDM,

    Yeah, those things on the ends are called telomeres. The idea is that, because of the degradation of telomeres every time the chromosomes replicate, there is a limited number of cell divisions until an organism suffers serious genetic damage. With cloning, the new organism starts out where its parent was, instead of getting a fresh start.

    If you’ve ever seen that National Lampoon cover with the wrinkled old baby, that’s sort of the problem.

  24. Kevin Carson,

    Any particular reason they don’t just engineer the upregulation of telomerase? Cancer cells do it all the time. Not to mention scientist and in vitro cell cultures.

  25. “I see, so they aren’t cloning for mass production, but for breeding animals? That makes a little more sense.” Jean Bart – why not READ FIRST. Then, if you must, post.

  26. Larry,

    I think you still end with variations because of what the other Larry was talking about (each parent only providing half of the gene pair). For example, if a gene pair consisted of one dominant and one recessive gene

    DR

    Then the possible combinations of the offspring of the two cloned animals with that gene pair would be …

    DD
    DR
    RD
    RR

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