Immortal Human: What if HeLa cells were used in genes to clone a human?
I don't know much about biology, just thought this could possibly make an immortal human. I know very little about biology, so any feedback about this would my much appreciated.
I would like a scientific answer in Layman's term, I don't care about your opinions on cloning and genetic studies.
If you don't know what HeLa cells are, look them up, pretty interesting.
- kagmiLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
The problem with immortal cells is that the human body is very complicated. Different types of cells need to know when to grow and divide, and when to die in order to give rise to a healthy human body. Cancer cells like the HeLa cells grow and divide uncontrollably, all the time. This is why cancers are deadly--they grow out of control and grow into the wrong places, ultimately crowding out cells that are functioning properly.
The immortality of the HeLa cells tell us that it is probably possible to make human cells that don't age and die. However, it's much more complicated than that. We'd have to figure out a way to make cells live forever and yet also turn on and off when they're supposed to in order to give rise to the complicated organ systems that make up the human body.
That's something we haven't yet figured out how to do. Maybe in the future as we learn more and more about what different genes do, we might be able to hit the right gene combination. There are many genes involved in aging and cell death, so there is definitely hope. But so far, immortal cells tend to become cancerous. In fact many genes that cause cell death seem to exist for the purpose of suppressing cancer.
We'll just have to see what the future holds!
- 10 years ago
Not so much as immortal but as "non ageing", where a cell will continue its life without a "clock" and will just hang around barley at its optimum and reducing efficiency. Biologically there is no profit in producing eternal cells because for the organism, having cells which barley work not only reduces the amount of available space but is a lost cause.
- Vincent GLv 710 years ago
They would not clone Henriette Lacks, they would just clone her cancer tumor.
Those cells are reproducing continuously because they are cancerous. Find a way to cure them of the cancer, turn them into totipotent cells, and they would develop to a clone of Henriette Lacks, but lacking immortality.
Now, if we can find a way of curing them of the cancer (that is, forcing them to work and convert to liver, bone, skin etc. tissue -- which is precisely what cancer cells don't do -- while not reproducing at an alarming rate), but retaining the capacity to keep dividing without telomere degradation, and we may have something.
Until then, we only have something to study.
- DorothyLv 44 years ago
if clones were ever made legal for whatever reason, i think they should be treated with the same respect given to the original person. being a clone dosent mean that you cant feel emotions, and with emotions the clone becomes mroe complex and not just a simple copy of someone anymore, it becomes another person, someone else who was destined to live just not through natural childbirth. it would be un-ethical to treat them as spare parts or slaves, for even if they are copies they are still human.