GENTECH archive


Fw: cloning the dead

Clive wrote:

Do you have a response to the seconding letter I posted on the list?
CAM replied:

Yes, I think so,
>>but questions like "what is life", This is very difficult to define under the new aspects of advance of the Biological and Biochemestry Sciences.
The Webster Collegiate dictionary presents 12 different aproaches, such as "The quality that distinguishes Plants and animals from inorganic or death (??) organic bodies manifiested by Metabolism, growth, reproduction and internal powers of adaptation to enviroment". " The Vital Force whether regarded as physical or spiritual, the presence of wich distinguished organic from inorganic mather"; both of them represents almost our conception of life, also wecan include Soul (Inmortal or mortal) in it to gave it an spiritual vital component.
But as you quote "what is not-life"? well there is actually a problem, we use to say that viruses where not alive but were chemical entities, but now, we see that we have retroviruses that redirect the messages of the genes; also that inclusion of foreign genes from different especies such as fungi into plantas or fish into pigs, etc.
We also know different life stages that could be wrong understanded such as catalepsy ( Condition of peculiar muscular rigidity in which body and limbs keep any positionin which they are placed) that many times have been cause of error, also torpor (supended animation or dormancy or sluggishness or stagnation of function; also diapause almost similar to torpor; Dormancy of seeds, we have seen that seeds that have been in the desertc sands of Peru coast for almost 100 years give rise to a forest growth after 1983 El niño rains. Many Scientist had said that many species wild plant species that used to grow in the near valleys have dissapeared, after El Niño 83 all of them were growin in the desert. Also the fungi spores that can remain for long periods of time are able to give rise to their organisms. And now scientist are trying to give rise to prehistoric organisms from their ADN.

>Where does life "come from"?
It could come from ADN or ARN suspended animation if some special biochemestry molecule happen to be around???? or we need to depend in some kind of Big Ban ( we could call it GOD ????? or what ???).
Now can that egg, without any DNA, without the ability to reproduce itself,
produce any biochemical material, be considered "alive? What "evidence" of life does it manifest? If it is alive, what would it mean if it were to die?
If it is alive, it is completely anonymous life. isn't it?

Well you are right in your questioning, we need to have new parameters for our understanding of all this new stuff, it is not easy to organize at the light of all definitions
Can anyone tell me what is the "clock" that starts the process of cell
division going?
There are some genetic and physiological (biochemical) conditions that "trick" the start of cell division. It is easy to say it but the theory is based in some rigid parameters to be able to function.

I would take this division process as evidence of the
presence of "life", whatever that is.
I dont know but I would prefer to define the initiation of life with the moment in which masculine Sperm (pollen) nucleus fuses with ovocell nucleus and give rise to a new cigotic (fecunded egg) and the new cell division starts to give rise to an organism.
As we can see, no new life starts, but it is the continuation of parental life.

Do Biologists actually know what life is?
I don't think so, they are good for rhetorical explanations with plenty biochemistry to give peace to their consciences and disturb ours