Clones for organ harvesting

New startup aims to create embryos in artificial wombs, raising them to 40 to 50 days (when basic organs are formed). The organs would then be used for transplants:

“We view the embryo as the best 3D bio printer,” says Hanna. “It’s the best entity to make organs and proper tissue.”

Ethical issues abound. Imagine being born and grown simply to produce organs.

Some scientists say it will be difficult to grow human embryo models to an advanced stage and that it would be better to avoid the controversy raised by imitating real embryos too closely.

“It’s absolutely not necessary, so why would you do it?” says Nicolas Rivron, a stem-cell scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna. He argues that scientists should only create “the minimal embryonic structure necessary” to yield cells of interest

In fiction, it’s reminiscent of the planet Krypton, which grew clones so that organs could be replaced.

All Kryptonians had a number of clones made of them to replace any organs or limbs that may become damaged. Kryptonians were essentially immortal.

It’s hard to look away from immortality. The promise of this technology is that it can help with fertility and longevity. It could reboot the immune system of the elderly, and help with infertile couples. Those are promising benefits. And another reminder that if it can be envisioned, it can one day happen.

Cloning for organ harvesting did end up leading to a war on Krypton:

Cleric’s message of the evils of cloning continued to spread across Krypton, leading to unrest between those who saw clones as nothing more than spare parts and those who saw clones as sentient beings who deserved to be free.

Science fiction is perhaps especially valuable as science advances, not only for visualizing new worlds but for giving humanity some extra time to think through ethics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: