Kris & Stephanie welcome their super-smart friend Sally (@sheaven on Twitter) to the podcast! Sally gives us a crash course in the science behind cloning, while we consider how it ties into Orphan Black.
What is cloning?
- Replicating DNA in biotechnology — small genes or pieces of genes or entire organisms
- Somatic cells into eggs
- ICSI for IVF
Dolly the sheep
- First mammal cloned, 1997
- Named “Dolly” because cells cloned were from an udder
- Somatic cells and telomeres (Hayflick limit)
- Died of respiratory infection
Other organisms cloned
- High incidence of respiratory infection
- People have been cloned using skin cells and the embryos destroyed
Cloning and Orphan Black
The Dyad Institute
- Implications of the name “Dyad” (pair of sister chromatids)
- Dyad also means chromatid pairs that are formed when DNA is copied during mitosis (not meiosis) does this give a clue about how they are conducting their cloning operations? Or just a general nod to replicating DNA?
WHY are they cloning people anyway?
- We are given indications by Leekie that they are cloning to study the behavioral adaptations of clones in all sorts of environments.
- Why would anyone want to study that?
- Do we trust what Leekie says?
- What other unspoken reasons could there be?
- Most common reason to clone in sci-fi is organ farming but that seems unlikely in this case because they released the clones “into the wild”
- How is Sarah fertile?
- Kira and Helena both seem to heal well
- How could the barcode have been inserted into the clones’ DNA?
- Ethical implications of patenting DNA
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