The use of cloning and stem cells to resurrect life: Robert Lanza at TEDxDeExtinction


Translator: Arthur Manookian
Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard I’d like to speak to you about the use of cloning
and stem cells to resurrect life. As you know, there are 2 ways
to make copies of cells and organisms. The first and most controversial is cloning, and that is also known as
somatic cell nuclear transfer. The concept is very simple, you start out with an empty egg,
that’s the large circle you see and then you place
the cell you want to clone, the smaller somatic cell
right next to it, then you send an electrical charge
through the unit and it damages the membrane
between the two and the nucleus of the cell
you want to clone dumps into that empty egg; then you add some chemicals, you fool that unit into thinking
that it is fertilised, it starts to divide and you end up with what is known
as preimplantation embryo. Then you can do one of 2 things with that. You can place that in a Petri dish where you can turn that into
embryonic stem cells which are the master cells
of the body and they can turn into
virtually every cell type. And the other alternative is that you can place that
into a surrogate animal to create an entire organism. Another approach that is newer
is known as Cell Reprogramming. And that leads to what is known
as induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells. You start out with a somatic cell
on a piece of skin, you throw in some transcription factors and bring that differentiated cell
back to a state of pluripotency very much like an embryonic stem cell. And we have new tricks now, we can actually turn those cells
into an entire organism as well. So, to date, about 2 dozen
different species have been cloned. Back in 1958 John Gurdon
cloned the first animal, that was a frog, In fact he was just
recognised for that feat a few months ago with the Nobel Prize, and since that time, of course,
there’s been Dolly the cloned sheep, and we and other groups have cloned
mice and goats and even cats and dogs. In fact, back in the 1990’s,
we cloned an entire herd of cows from genetically modified cells. So what you actually see here are animals that are making
human albumin in their milk, So we could use the same approach
to reconstruct extinct animals à la Jurassic Park. So in this case we took a skin biopsy
from the ear of a cow, we grew up the cells
knocked in a gene cassette, and then used ordinary eggs
to create that herd of animals. So similarly,
as George Church would describe, we can then take, say, an elephant cell,
knock in the genes for tusks, or long ear, or haemoglobin so he can live
in a cold climate, and then using the technique
that I’ll describe later, we can create sperm and eggs
and an entire organism from that. So, there are 2 types of cloning. One is known as interspecies cloning and the other is intraspecies. With the intraspecies, you actually use the egg and the cell
from the same species you want to clone, but using this cross-species approach, we can take the egg of one species
to clone the cell from another. And that’s very important
if you want to resurrect extinct animals or if you want to clone
endangered animals. Back in 2000 we used
this cross-species technique to clone the first endangered species. In this case it was a gaur, which is a wild ox
on the verge of extinction. At the time everyone said, “That’s not
going to work, that’s impossible.” and the reason for that is that a clone
isn’t really entirely a clone. It turns out that every cell
has 2 genomes. One is the mitochondrial genome, and the mitochondria are the organelles in the cell
that make energy. That’s maternally inherited,
so that will come from the egg. And the other genome
is the nuclear genome, and that contains the genes
that distinguish you and I from an elephant or a mouse. So those 2 genomes
have to talk to one another, and there’s evidence
that it can only occur within 8 to 18 million years
species radiation. We got around that problem
by using very closely related species, concord and xenograft
combinations. In this particular case
we had a gaur and a cow and they are both
in the Bos family. Using that approach, we were able to reconstruct
these clone gaur embryos, that may look like little circles to you, but these are actually
beautiful little gaur blastocysts. The idea here was
to create these embryos, send them by FedEx off
to a farm in Iowa where they would be implanted
into some ordinary cows. It turned out that
the first round we made and put outside the door
for the delivery truck guy to pick up, unfortunately, we came the next morning,
and they were still there. But eventually FedEx did deliver
a new round of these embryos, they were indeed implanted
into some animals. I went to Iowa entranced over We had 25% pregnancy rate. Two of those
we let continue onto term. Unfortunately one of those
aborted at late stage, it was 202 days. We let one of them continue
to just day. And here’s Bessy,
8 months pregnant. We were a bit nervous. The whole world was following us,
CNN was running in almost everyday and we were concerned,
“What if Bessy gave rise to an ordinary cow? That would be very embarrassing!” (Laugher) And that’s happened before. So fortunately it did give rise
to a beautiful little baby gaur. It’s a bit surreal seeing this exotic endangered animal that is normally born in bamboo jungles
of Southeast Asia, being born out in an Iwoa farm
that reeked of cow manure, but it was alive. Died unfortunately 2 days later. Everyone said, “See Bob,
the technology doesn’t work.” About 2 years later,
we approached the San Diego zoo and they came up with an animal
that’s known as banteng. Only about 2000 of these animals
are left on the planet. And he had cells from this animal that had been frozen away
for a quarter of a century. So they sent us a vial
of these frozen cells and again we put those into cow eggs,
sent them back off to Iowa, and indeed on April Fool’s Day in 2003
we had a beautiful little baby banteng which was ultimately transferred
to San Diego zoo where it lived
with the other bantengs. So this technology does work. There are some problems, but we have new technologies
that I’ll mention that can now solve
many of these bottlenecks. I collect dinosaur fossils. So when you go to my front door the first thing you see
is this Brantosaur’s femur. It’s about 6 feet long
and weighs 800 pounds. And everyone goes,
“Bob, you gotta clone it!” and that animal
was bigger than my house, I don’t know what the surrogate
would be, although it is an egg! (Laughter) In any case, I actually
live on an island, and one day a USA Today reporter
was there and said, “You know, you have the island,
you need the electric fence.” and I told him,
“You can’t clone from stone.” So you are not likely to see
any dinosaurs in your back yard any time soon. But that doesn’t mean extinction
is necessarily forever. You just heard from Alberto,
about Celia, so that was the first
short-term success. I remember back in 2000
going to Zaragoza, Spain and meeting with them,
meeting with the ministers. That was only a few months
after Celia had died and we said we wanted to clone it. They almost laughed and basically said
that that was science fiction. I actually still have a bottle of wine
from one of the ministers and I’m waiting
I’m going to open it when the first bucardos
are released in the Pyrenees. There are other species. Mike Archer mentioned
the gastric-brooding frog, frozen cells, so hopefully
we’ll be able to resurrect that using the cross species cloning. But those techniques are limited
as I mentioned, so recently, a few months ago, he shared the Nobel Prize
with John Gurdon, Dr Yamanaka discovered iPS cells, these are the reprogrammed cells
that I mentioned to you, and using that approach
we now have a new tool for conservation biology. So when Yamanaka published
his paper showing for the first time that we can make human iPS cells, I published a letter in Science,
saying that this could also be used for conservation biology
to restore genes from endangered and extinct animals. And that has been used
successfully in some animals. There are many techniques,
this is just one of them here: something known as
Tetraploid complimentation. What happens is, you start
with your fertilised egg, you let it divide the 2 cell stage, and then you fuse those 2 cells
so there’s twice as much DNA in it, that is why it is called
the tetraploid. And then you let that divide and it continues to divide
into what’s known as a blastocyst. That will only create the placenta,
and extra embryonic membranes, it will not create the embryo per say. So you can inject iPS cells
into that blastocyst and they all to go on
to become the animal So you can start out with an embryo,
surrogate that’s white, inject your iPS cells
from a pigmented animal and get all iPS animals,
essentially clones. So we can do that and we can make iPS cells
from almost any animals, from horses,
from avian species. So you can make them very readily
unlike the normal cloning procedure. But the more likely way
this is going to occur is to actually turn the iPS cells
into eggs and sperm. You have just a little piece of skin
from any endangered animal or a closely related, say, for the mammoth
you can start with an elephant, you add the transcription factors, turn them into iPS cells and then those can be coaxed
into premodial germ cells and then turn
into either sperm or eggs. And indeed that does work. A few months ago
for the first time a group in Japan
turned iPS cells into eggs that resulted in live pups, and a year before the same group
turned iPS cells into sperm that could create live pups as well. So the goal for these extinct species
is simply to start like an elephant cell, upregulate the various genes
for tusks, long ear, whatever, and then you just
create sperm and eggs, and then you create
an entire organism. But just in case that doesn’t work, and for those of you
who are Jurassic Park fans, I actually have a piece of amber
in my pocket and it really does have a mosquito in it. Thank you. (Laughter) (Applause)

50 thoughts on “The use of cloning and stem cells to resurrect life: Robert Lanza at TEDxDeExtinction

  1. What happens when clones are released into mainstream society? youtube.com/watch?v=kdiISQdjwd0&list=FL17PI5qkjo7sQj-29tMjfUA&index=3

  2. I suspect that one day Dr. Lanza will be hailed as the Einstein of our generation. When that happens I will be saying "I told you so".

  3. Stem cells should used medically to help people and use that person,,s cells to cone. It is wrong to use cells. to create animals.

  4. Dr Lanza(biocentrism) Now would anyone here would belive if I would tell you that little bit more than 4 months ago, I had an amzing event that happend to me and I been awaken from un conciness? Try me!!! now the only thing is I need Dr Robert Lanza to try me, and see what I am all about!!!

    Time will tell Dear Soul Robert Lanza.

  5. "This technology works" funny thing he skips the fact that there were two bantengs and the other born was euthanized for deformities, and most animals he mentioned have being deformed as well or have died suddenly. Words must be carefully analyzed and unless a majority of specimens fertilized are born healthy and live healthy lives then one can not say "this works" . At times it works, yet is nothing compared with the drawbacks. There are some success for it does not exactly work.

  6. Is this guy really as ignorant about what he is really doing? Oh boy o' boy, cloning works. Well guy, what do you think the government plans to do with your cloning success? Are you helping us little people or just working for fame and the almighty dollar? EGO or heart?

  7. This man is going to change the world. It is quite astonishing, particularly when you consider his ideas and work on the nature of consciousness. There is an urgency to his work.

  8. This seems very dangerous, there are so many things that could go wrong and whatever his intentions are, there are many people that could use this for the wrong reasons.

  9. Take an example. Most modern fruit trees are "hybrids" in the sense they have been created artificially by fixed insemination (by pollinating selectively or even transplanting one fruit half on to another root. Typically wild roots to have more endurance): Well guess what? That's created a whole world of fruit trees that can't reproduce by themselves. Think about that for a second.

    There are currently only 2 out of 35 olive spices in southern Europe that's fertile . The rest are now so prone to any kind of natural changes, plagues, pests etc that people use a range of artificial crap to keep them alive. Then people get infertile because they eat half of the crap having used to hold up this shitty gamble. That's what we cme from. Now "scientists" wants to gamble with the human genome and play God. That's not science. That's sorcery, mind you – idiotic sorcery. It's got nothing, nothing to do with science. The object of science is to understand NATURE, meaning the cosmos. Why. Not how. Want to know how? Make tree's fertile.

  10. These science experiments on humans are fucking evil. Stop killing babies for their parts. Its what Hitler used to do. You cant create life, only god could.

  11. Even though the idea of cloning is interesting, the idea of cloning animals or humans should not be implemented in the light of its possible impact on already existing species and the battle over cloning’s morality. Cloning animals and humans is immoral because not only are the procedures to do so relatively invasive, but it could also cause even more issues regarding the value of life itself. In cloning animals we are possibly causing a host of problems for ourselves, one of which possibly being hurting the ecosystem by introducing animal species that might send other animals into extinction. For example, bringing certain species, such as predatory dinosaurs back into the world could spell disaster for any creature that runs into it, possibly taking the numbers of other animals that are already in the ecosystem down considerably, maybe even effecting human populations if not careful. This would combat the primary reason for the cloning as according to the video, which is to save animals from going into extinction. As a result, we would be almost completely dependent on cloning animals to keep species that weren't previously endangered alive. Also, if animals are being cloned, where would the cloning stop? If scientists are cloning animals they might start trying to clone humans as well, which could lessen our respect for life. If scientists were able to clone humans, it might become commonplace for people to have a clone for themselves created for the purpose of having an organ donor when they need one. If that was so the created human clones would not be given the basic rights that every human should enjoy, lessening the value for human life as well. On the other hand, if scientists were able to create an ethical method of cloning organs without the need of using a living host, I would be able to agree to use it in modern medicine. That being said, beyond an ethical cloning of organs, cloning would not be an ethical or wise idea, especially if the cloning is of organisms such as animals or humans.

  12. why do all stem cell researchers seem like they are full of shit?? they also all talk weirdly about tossing around embryos… if stems cells are this great. why are we not fucking using them to cure diseases on humans… don't give me that bullshit about danger… if someone is dying i don't think they give a shit about a dangous possibility

  13. they all talk about stupid fucking animal experiments and how the actually WORK… great fucktard you can make a frog a different color… now start contributing to society by cure diseases.. you are letting people die while to experiment on fucking animals you piece of ignorant shit..

  14. This man needs to speak more about Biocentrism
    and the biocentric nature of how our universe works.

  15. They should take DNA from like a bunch of wicked hot chicks and combine them to make a super hot hybrid babe.

  16. Robert Lanza's book Biocentrism gave me the motivation to enroll in college. I am majoring in Environmental Science and looking forward to where it will take me!

  17. Lanza certainly is very intelligent and trying to do what he can, but are these actions needed, moral, or ethical? Where do we draw the line?

  18. I don't care if you use this on animals, extinct animals deserve to live on. People on the other hand should not be cloned. You get sick from your clone being hurt, they are a your significant shadow other.

  19. There's a really old book that warns us quite specifically not to do this. Which leaves me to believe this is not the first time we have been through this. But were going to do it anyways so put your seatbelts on and get ready for the ride.

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