San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

A Timely Warnng: Cloning Means Goodbye

BACK in the1960s when thewomen’s liberationmovementwas gatheringstrength, it wasjoined by anextremist groupcalling themselvesThe RainbowGirls. Their objectivewas the totalelimination ofmales and the subsequentreplicationof selected females by parthenogenesis, aprocess similar in principle to what wenow call cloning.Their rationale was that the Y chromosome,which determines maleness in thereproductive process, is obviously just amiserable little deformed mutant of the Xchromosome, which codes for femaleness.Logically, then, the race must have originallyconsisted only of women, and cando so again.The Rainbow Girls disbanded after acouple of years, partly because the WLMExecutive frowned on the wholesaleextermination of men, but mainly becausecloning people was at that time a purelytheoretical concept. But times havechanged, and the Rainbow Girls haverecently resurrected themselves inChicago with more than sufficientresources to carry out their originalprogram.My people tell me that men are to beeliminated humanely by distributingworldwide the maverick H1N1 strain ofthe influenza virus which infected almosthalf the world in 1918, even before globaltourism made 100% effectiveness a certainty.The virus has been engineered totransform its lethal character into one thatmerely sterilizes males, and is currentlybeing tested in China. I understandcloning human females has already beenaccomplished in countries where it is notillegal, and technically presents fewproblems.I myself plan to escape the comingholocaust by suitable relocation, butbefore I go it seems fair to point out thedangers of attempting to clone a wholerace. We all started life as a single cellcontaining the genetic code which thereafterdirected the manufacture, servicingand eventual replacement of every cell inour bodies, each of which carries a replicaof the code. In parentheses, for those witha passion for detail, the code consists ofan immensely long assemblage of nucleicacids known as DNA, in which some50,000 segments having specific functions,such as creating a particular liverprotein, are called genes.This long molecule is packed into 23paired chromosomes all squeezed into thenucleus of every cell so that, theoreticallyat least, you could be recreated from asingle cell.Naturally, the code should be flawlessfrom the start, but it rarely is, due to disablingor sometimes even lethal mutations.Happily, conventional reproduction,where a male and a female each suppliesone-half of the code, ensures that if eitherpartner unwittingly supplies a newlyminted lethal gene, roughly one-quarter oftheir offspring will be stillborn, carryingthe mutation with them. The rest will surviveto reproduce healthy progeny.Cloning, however, cannot employ thisingenious stratagem for eliminating badmutations. Sooner or later, a lethal genewill occur, and that will be the end of theline. The loss may be offset by cloningmany lines, but eventually no unclonedfemales will be alive to start a new line.Gradually the number of survivors willdwindle, many of them hideouslydeformed, until the last one expires.Just a thought, but you should actquickly if you wish to save mankind, aswell as womankind.

Comments are closed.