People are cloning their dead pets

The Sixth Day law now prohibits the cloning of human beings.

There is a mandatory 40-year minimum sentence for participating in the cloning of a human being.

Cloned humans are not persons under the law, and as such have no human rights. If someone is proven to be a clone, they will be euthanised.

The Sixth Day law may sound draconian to you. But that’s because you don’t live in a largely forgotten sci-fi film made in 2000, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The 6th Day is set in 2050, where human cloning has already been tried and proved to be impossible.

It opens with a montage of real events – Dolly the sheep being cloned in 1997, the human genome being cracked in 2000 – and then projects events into the future…

There are protests over human cloning research. The first human cloning experiment fails. The clone is destroyed. Eventually the “Sixth Day” law is passed and human cloning is banned.

This film was made when talk about cloning was at its peak in the press. Dolly the sheep had been successfully cloned, the human genome had been cracked, and we saw many books and films inspired by these events.

But, if you re-watch The 6th Day today, you’ll be struck by how accurate its depiction of the future is.

Arnie and his wife talk over video chat. His car has a driverless mode. And people are cloning their dead pets.

Oh yeah, that’s right. You can now get your pet cloned.

When sci-fi becomes reality

It hasn’t made a big splash in the news, on the TV or on the radio. But, there’s now a company working out of Texas that can clone your pets.

I found out about it while trawling a futurism forum. At first I thought it was a spoof, but from everything I can see, it’s a real company that is really cloning pets.

Here’s its marketing video on how it’s done.

I also managed to find a special on CNN from back in 2012 interviewing a woman who’d paid $50,000 to have her dog cloned.

Looking at ViaGen Pets’ website, the cost hasn’t come down at all in the last six years.

And for comparison, here’s the pet cloning infomercial Arnie watches in The 6th Day.

It’s crazy to think that a spoof advert from a sci-fi film ends up being so close to reality.

Most of the cloning hype of the mid-90s seems to have died away again now, which is strange, given that cloning is now commonplace.

Perhaps that’s why. It’s no longer news. It’s just accepted that we can clone things now. But cloning has been coming on leaps and bounds behind the scenes.

Cloned pigs could soon save your life

In China scientists are genetically modifying pigs’ DNA with CRISPR so their organs aren’t rejected by humans.

These human compatible pigs are then cloned and their organs will soon be tested in human trials.

It sounds like science fiction, but it’s already happening. As reported in the South China Morning Post in August:

Recent experiments conducted in China and elsewhere on animals including monkeys have shown they could live for an extended period of time – sometimes years – after receiving transplants of pig organs.

China is meanwhile home to the world’s biggest pig-cloning farms that could supply animals bred specifically for transplants of livers, hearts and other organs to humans.

The article does go on to say at the end that these pig organs would still eventually be rejected by a human host.

The monkeys that received the organs had artificially suppressed immune responses. If these organs were put into a normal human the scientists say:

“We definitely can’t do this with humans yet – the human immune system can easily recognise and attack organs even when they’re from other humans. Pig transplants will take some time, maybe years or even decades.”

But it does go to show the kinds of things CRISPR is being used for already. What we will soon be able to do with CRISPR is incredible.

That’s why it’s one of the main investment areas Eoin Treacy writes about in Frontier Tech Investor. He believes it will soon change the face of medicine as we know it.

If you read his research into it, you’ll no doubt believe it too. Eoin has picked the two most promising plays into this new area of medicine to share with his subscribers.

If you’d like to see Eoin’s research into CRISPR, and get his two stock picks, you can get a trial of Frontier Tech Investor here.

As CRISPR becomes more widely adopted and its potential is realised, those two picks could make early investors a huge amount of money.

But for now, if you feel like watching The 6th Day – and seeing all the ways it correctly predicted the future – it’s currently streaming on Netflix.

If you’re interested in sci-fi, the future, or just seeing Arnie running around doing what he does best, I’d highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Harry Hamburg
Editor, Exponential Investor

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Category: Genetics and Biotechnology

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