email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
A Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeAcquiring GenomesAdapting MindsAgeing, Health and CareAlas, Poor DarwinAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAncient Bodies, Modern LivesAnimal ArchitectsAping MankindAre We Hardwired?Bang!BehavingBeyond EvolutionBeyond GeneticsBlood MattersBody BazaarBoneBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain StormBrave New BrainBrave New WorldsChoosing ChildrenCloneCloningConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConsciousness EvolvingContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyControlling Our DestiniesCooperation and Its EvolutionCreatures of AccidentDarwin Loves YouDarwin's Brave New WorldDarwin's Gift to Science and ReligionDarwin's UniverseDarwin's WormsDarwinian ConservatismDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinism and its DiscontentsDarwinism as ReligionDebating DesignDecoding DarknessDefenders of the TruthDo We Still Need Doctors?Doubting Darwin?Early WarningEngineering the Human GermlineEnhancing EvolutionEnoughEntwined LivesEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEvil GenesEvolutionEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution and Human Sexual BehaviorEvolution and LearningEvolution and ReligionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution in MindEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolution: The Modern SynthesisEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychiatryEvolutionary PsychologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolutionary Psychology as Maladapted PsychologyExploding the Gene MythFaces of Huntington'sFlesh of My FleshFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Darwin to HitlerGenesGenes in ConflictGenes on the CouchGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenetics of Criminal and Antisocial BehaviourGenetics of Mental DisordersGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenomeGenomeGenome: Updated EditionGenomes and What to Make of ThemGlowing GenesHow Women Got Their Curves and Other Just-So StoriesHuman CloningHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityImproving Nature?In Our Own ImageIn Pursuit of the GeneIn the Name of GodIngenious GenesInheritanceInside the Human GenomeInside the O'BriensIntegrating Evolution and DevelopmentIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIs Human Nature Obsolete?Language OriginsLess Than HumanLiberal EugenicsLiving with Our GenesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of EvolutionMan As The PrayerMean GenesMenMood GenesMoral OriginsMothers and OthersNature Via NurtureNever Let Me GoNot By Genes AloneOf Flies, Mice, and MenOn the Origin of StoriesOrigin of MindOrigins of Human NatureOrigins of PsychopathologyOur Posthuman FuturePhilosophy of BiologyPlaying God?Playing God?Portraits of Huntington'sPrimates and PhilosophersPromiscuityPsychiatric Genetics and GenomicsPsychologyQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRe-creating MedicineRedesigning HumansResearch Advances in Genetics and GenomicsResponsible GeneticsResponsible GeneticsScience, Seeds and CyborgsSex and WarSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsStrange BedfellowsStrange BehaviorSubjects of the WorldSubordination and DefeatThe Age of EmpathyThe Agile GeneThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Biotech CenturyThe Blank SlateThe Book of LifeThe Bridge to HumanityThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of the Female OrgasmThe Century of the GeneThe Common ThreadThe Concept of the Gene in Development and EvolutionThe Debated MindThe Double-Edged HelixThe Epidemiology of SchizophreniaThe Ethics of Human CloningThe Evolution of CooperationThe Evolution of MindThe Evolution of MindThe Evolved ApprenticeThe Evolving WorldThe Fact of EvolutionThe Folly of FoolsThe Future of Human NatureThe God GeneThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Impact of the GeneThe Innate MindThe Innate MindThe Innate Mind: Volume 3The Limits and Lies of Human Genetic ResearchThe Lives of the BrainThe Maladapted MindThe Meme MachineThe Misunderstood GeneThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Dangerous AnimalThe New Genetic MedicineThe Nurture AssumptionThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Origins of FairnessThe Paradoxical PrimateThe Perfect BabyThe Robot's RebellionThe Selfish GeneThe Shape of ThoughtThe Shattered SelfThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story WithinThe Stuff of LifeThe Talking ApeThe Temperamental ThreadThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Top 10 Myths About EvolutionThe Triple HelixThe Triumph of SociobiologyThe Woman Who Walked into the SeaTwinsUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding the GenomeUnnatural SelectionUnto OthersUp From DragonsWar Against the WeakWhat Genes Can't DoWhat It Means to Be 98 Percent ChimpanzeeWho Owns YouWhose View of Life?Why Evolution Is TrueWhy Think? WondergenesWrestling with Behavioral GeneticsYour Genetic Destiny
Looking for an accessible guide to cloning together with sex, scandal, a putative hoax, a fraud claim, counterclaims, industrial secrets and a cast of maverick scientists and myths that makes for a greatly entertaining true story ? To find a single book which has the potential to affect one's ideas and thoughts as to what it means to be human is a rarity, but some readers might be so affected by this work. Thematically weaving between the key historical developments leading to claims for the first cloning success using adult tissue and discussions of the moral ethics of whether and why such research be conducted, Kolata's account of the making of Dolly the sheep reminded me of Watson's The Double Helix. Not only do we read here about the manipulation of genetic material outside the realms of human replication and fertility, we are continually provoked with the wider issues relating to food production processess, the social responsibilies of the research scientist, and the role of science journalism in informing public opinion.We are also exposed to the less attractive side of running the day-to-day life of the research laboratory - the struggle with grant competition; peer pressure, review and publication demands; conference attendance and institutional sponsor politics. Kolata provides all of this in a very well written and researched book including frank (and seemingly) honest biographies of the leading players in the road to Dolly.
The story as presented here covers a period of just over one hundred years following Weismann's discovery of the loss of information' with subsequent cellular differentiations of dividing tissue. Within twenty years or so the role of the cell nucleus had been determined, and by 1938, Spemann's Embryonic Development and Induction proposed the very nuclear transplant experiment that was to succeed some 60 years later. The first successful accounts of this technique involved the use of the embryonic frog tissue in the 1950s by Briggs & King, but the older, more differentiated cell nuclei proved harder to handle and maintain. In the early 1960s, Gurdon succeeds with the transfer of what were thought to be adult, fully differentiated cells taken from amphibian intestines. At about the same time as these developments were unfolding, the first symposia to address the possibility of cloning and its implications for ethics had taken place. The end of the 1960s had seen the advent of gene isolation (though curiously little is said about the discovery of DNA itself and the significance of the newly founded growth area of molecular biology) and within the next ten years we had moved from the in vitro fertilisation of mice to Louise Brown, born in 1978. That same year saw the publication of a non-fiction book claiming that the real-life rich, eccentric Max had himself cloned with the assistance of a world-renownd scientist known by the pseudonym Darwin with the assistance of a seventeen year old virgin called Sparrow, who gives birth to a healthy baby boy. I would recommend reading Kolata for her retelling of the Rorvik (1978) story if for no other reason.
The following year saw Illmensee claim to have cloned the first mice using the nucleus of embryonic stem cells and, again, we are both entertained and informed by Kolata's telling of this most remarkable tale of intrigue and collegiate suspicion of happenings in the laboratory. It was not until the 1980s and '90s that successful sheep, cow and eventually monkey cloning was to be completed (all still using embryonic nuclear material transfer) at least suggesting that there was no in principle reason to believe adult cloning to be beyond possibility. However, very few scientists apparently held this latter belief -- and these few were not encouraged to pursue their ideas.
Now suitably brought up to speed with our history of embryology, experimental biology techniques and the sweat involved in conducting seemingly unglamorous basic laboratory science, we are finally introduced to Ian Wilmut, whose research group were to achieve what to many was still biologically impossible. Wilmut and his colleage Campbell postulated that the problem of cloning transplants was perhaps with tranfering the nuclear DNA at such a time inappropriate to the natural activity phases of the cell cycle. Campbell determined that the so colled G0 (G-nought) phase of the cell cycle was one of synchrony and, combined with the technique of halting induced by nutritional deprivation, thought that it was during this period that cell reprogramming' would be more likely successful. In March, 1996 the first clones of a mammal (sheep) were born using differentiated embryonic cell nuclei, but their announcement was largely lost to the wider world outside that of a handful of agricultural scientists. However, in July of the same year, the first sheep cloned from the fully-differentiated cell nuclei of adult tissue was born to Wilmut's lab. The news that was to reach the world over had first to wait out a period of great secrecy and gossip-mongering. The (true) story is revealed lucidly here, and provides another reason to read Kolata's book. And yes, according to this account she was named for Dolly Parton.
Dr. A. R. Dickinson, Dept. of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology.
We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and
We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.
Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'
Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send
review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank
you for your support!
Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these
announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click
Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers
for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.
Metapsychology Online Reviews
Promote your Page too
Metapsychology Online Reviews