by Steven Ertelt
August 9, 2007
Tokyo, Japan (LifeNews.com) — A group of scientists in Japan say they have cloned a fourth generation pig and they claim it shows the success of repeat cloning. The pig was cloned from a cloned pig who itself was cloned from the cloned child of an original cloned pig.
According to researcher Hiroshi Nagashima, a Meiji University geneticist, the fourth generation swine proves that scientists can clone large mammals several times without significant problems with their genes mutating.
As a result, Nagashima says cloning science can be used to create animals simply for the purposes of harvesting their organs and body parts to replace damages ones in humans. Pig organs are genetically similar to those in humans and previous research, the team says, has shown that a human’s immune system will not reject the pig organs.
The thought of cloning humans for the same purposes presents significant concerns for pro-life advocates — and researchers in Britain are currently advocating so-called "savior siblings."
Nagashima says this is the first time mammals have been successfully cloned repeatedly and he noted that, previously, the only successes of repetitive cloning had been seen in mice.
Despite the supposed success in Japan, previous cloning of mammals has had significant failures that bring forth concerns about human cloning.
Wolf cloning in South Korea saw scientists transfer 251 wolf embryos into 12 potential surrogate mothers before achieving the birth of a cloned wolf. That high failure rate was also seen in cloning the dogs and cloning Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal.
Pro-life advocates say that shows how human cloning will likely result in the destruction of hundreds, if not thousands, of human lives.