Chinese giant firm ready to replicate humans

KONFRONTASI - In the process of artificial cloning, unlike the natural fertilization process, the DNA of an animal cell is extracted and implanted into another animal egg cell, whose DNA has already been removed, and is allowed to grow just like a natural egg cell. The result of this process is producing an offspring that is the genetically identical copy of the first animal. During the past two decades, plenty of cloned animals, including mammals, have been produced, which have brought a host of legal and moral controversies particularly over human cloning, leading some nations to pass laws against cloning human beings. In 2005, the United Nations also adopted a non-binding declaration, calling for the ban of all human cloning contrary to human dignity. However, the world's biggest cloning factory says that it has the necessary technology to replicate humans.

According to Xu Xiaochun, the chief executive director of Boyalife Group, the company is going into the production within the next seven months and intends to reach an output of one million cloned cows annually by 2020, AFP reported on Tuesday.

“The technology is already there. If this is allowed, I don't think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology,” Xu said, referring to human cloning, but he added that the company does not currently engage in human cloning activities.

“Unfortunately, currently, the only way to have a child is to have it be half its mum, half its dad. 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,” he further said.

Xu Xiaochun, the chief executive director of Boyalife Group

The giant firm, located in the northern Chinese port of Tianjin, is equipped with a gene bank of nearly five million cell samples frozen in liquid nitrogen, and is collaborating with its South Korean partner Sooam and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to advance primate cloning technology to produce better laboratory animals to be used in disease studies.

Sooam is trying to bring the extinct woolly mammoth back to life by cloning cells frozen for thousands of years in Siberia.

“We want the public to see that cloning is really not that crazy, that scientists aren’t weird, dressed in lab coats, hiding behind a sealed door doing weird experiments,” added Xu, trying to dispel people’s fears about cloning.[ptv]

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