Is it possible to clone dead people?

  • Thread starter Cinitiator
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  • #1
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Sorry if I sound completely ignorant by asking this.

Homework Statement


Is it possible to clone dead people if we have parts of their body conserved? For example, is it possible to clone Einstein using the parts of his brain which are cut in pieces and stored in a jar?
What about people who have been buried in coffins, in a manner which would be considered as conventional by many cultures, including the Western one?


Homework Equations


None, not that I know of.


The Attempt at a Solution


Googling and asking other people with no help.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chemisttree
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What is it that you need to clone someone?
 
  • #3
Ygggdrasil
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The current method by which one might clone a human being is called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). This process involves transplanting the nucleus of a cell from the individual who you wish to clone into an enucleated egg cell (an egg cell whose nucleus has been removed). Because this technique relies on having an intact, undamaged nucleus, the procedure would not work for preserved samples (the preservation techniques chemically modify the proteins and DNA in the nucleus rendering them non-functional) or long deceased individuals (whose cells and DNA would have degraded). It would probably work for very recently deceased individuals, however.

In theory, however, one could probably clone a dead person, but this would require a number of technologies, not all of which have been developed:

1) You would need to take samples of the dead individual and sequence all of the DNA of that individual (already possible).

2) You would need to be able to reconstruct artificial intact chromosomes using the DNA sequences above (not currently feasible, but may be feasible in the future).

3) You would need to develop a method of cloning that allows you to inject the naked, synthetic DNA into an enucleated egg (or other type of cell) that would produce a viable embryo (no idea if this is possible).
 

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