Thursday, June 08, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Clones are not the same
Today's silly misunderstanding of cloning comes from the New York Times:
Anyone trying to select a winner at the mule races this weekend in Winnemucca, Nev., will no doubt have a hard time choosing between Idaho Gem and Idaho Star. They may have different names, but they are not necessarily different mules.No, no, no! This is like saying "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen may have different names, but they are not necessarily different people." The two mules, like the Olsen twins or any other identical twins, merely share their DNA. This doesn't mean they're the same mule. This misunderstanding pops up quite a lot (especially with journalists trying to get a nice "twist" on the story for an eye-catching lead) and it's really quite pernicious as it distorts the debate about reproductive cloning.
Idaho Gem and Idaho Star are clones. They are two of three mules who were born in 2003 as the result of a cloning project at the University of Idaho and Utah State University.