Will Human Clones Provide Medical Resources?

Will Human Clones Provide Medical Resources?

(RightWing.org) – An anti-aging researcher has a radical new idea to extend human life — growing clones for spare parts. Is this the key to finally defeating death, or a nightmare straight from the pages of a horror novel? That’s a question scientists might need to answer soon because the technology to do it is already almost here.

In 2015, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov told a British journalist that he expects to live to be 150 years old. At the time, the 37-year-old was working in the UK, but he’d just founded a new research company, Insilico Medicine, in Hong Kong. The company mostly focuses on using artificial intelligence to replace animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry, but Zhavoronkov hasn’t given up his obsession with extended lifespans, and now he has a shocking new idea on how it might be possible.

According to Zhavoronkov, who was born in Latvia — then a part of the USSR — in 1979, it will soon be possible to clone a person and then harvest the clone’s organs for transplant when the person’s original organs start to fail through disease or aging. He says that in the beginning, the technology would be available to “a select few” (meaning the very rich) but could soon become affordable. It would take 15-20 years for a clone to grow enough for its organs to be usable, but Zhavoronkov says people who are in their 20s now “have a real chance of living many times longer than previously thought possible.”

Of course, there are still technical challenges — cloning isn’t an exact science yet, and if a clone didn’t perfectly match the original person’s DNA, there would be a chance of the transplant being rejected — but the real worries are ethical. A cloned human being would still be a human being, and would it be morally acceptable to break them up for spare parts like an old car? Even Zhavoronkov admits his idea needs someone to find “a way… around the ethical and regulatory problems,” and that might be a lot harder to find than a solution to than the remaining technical hurdles.

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