Monday, May 04, 2009

What Have You Done, Lords of Science?

It's budget season at work. We each submitted proposals on how we could spend money in creative ways, that would make us better at our jobs. As I am a thoroughly sick human being, and a bit of a narcissist, and I love clones, and my proposal was looking a little thin...I included self-cloning as a bullet point.

As I am more thoroughly sick than you ever realized, I even asked my friend Len at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam, Germany, to run the numbers and come back with an estimate. And, because Len is also a thoroughly sick person, he did it!
Here we go:

Hey Shannon, goodmorning.I just did a total cost based analysis for the cloning and then had it wiped away by a Netscape page change.

So you now get the short answer:

budget: around 75K mostly for surgery (ie. egg isolation and embryo implantation)

company: to cover costs, around 150 - 250K

This is also assuming that they can get the science perfected, but to be honest, the procedure itself is quite simple.

1. isolate egg from you, remove nucleus - easy

2. isolate cell from you - easy

3. reprogram cell back to totipotent status (like a stem cell) - hard

4. put nucleus from 3 into de-nucleated egg -easy

5. let develop into embryo - hard

6. implant - easy

7. nine months later change diapers - hard
the scientific problems are mostly with steps 3 and 5, which are connected.
Basically what happens these days is that the embryo grows to the blastula stage and then things go wrong.The other option is to put you in a zerox machine, but then you would come out black. How about a mimeograph maghine, then you would be blue, a bit smeared, and smelling of alchol. :)hope this helps!gotta go work.


First off, Len, I am pretty much always blue, a bit smeared, and smelling of alcohol.
Second, this totally doesn't jibe with my plans: which had been to create an army of insta-Shannons. You could each have your very own me! I could give myself out as party favors, send my clones on first dates so they could report back as to whether I should attend the second date, and perhaps, if I found the time, take over the world.

But, until the science catches up, you'll have to just settle for one of me.

(If you heard a wheezing sound, that was the entire Earth breathing a sigh of relief.)

In the comments, tell me how many clones you'd need to screw in a lightbulb. Also, let me know if you'd like to start a band called, "Blastula Stage."


Malnurtured Snay said...

But what if your clones got tired of being your foot soldiers, and decided to kill you, dump your body, and live your life? It'd be like that Calvin & Hobbes where Calvin clones himself and then they fight, except, y'know, without the tiger.

Shannon said...

Snay - Hrm. As I cannot even watch a violent movie, let alone commit violence, I think I'm safe from clone-caused bodily harm.

Malnurtured Snay said...

But! What if the cloners insert some violent tendencies into your clones without your knowledge?

bh said...

I would totally put an inst-Shannon in my messenger bag. Then I'd pull it (you?) out at parties and make you say snarky things on command. Or just watch you trip and fall down.

Either way: Insta-fun!!!

Shannon said...

Snay - I don't think Len would do that. He would, however, probably clone a few extras for his own nefarious purposes.

bh - Just add water! Or, really, bourbon.

the girl formally known as zipcode said...

I am always up for joining a band. Count me in

Dmbosstone said...

That is a good band name I have to say, I don't think I want a clone of myself but I was just thinking a I'd love to have a spare liver in case I lose my current one to booze.

Shannon said...

Ex-Zip - As ever. Still up for playing the drums?

Dmbosstone - Welcome! I need a spare of just about everything, I think.

Ibid said...

Only 1, but how the two of us would get in the lightbulb is a whole new problem.

Velvet said...

More of you. Interesting. I'll need to mull this over.

Shannon said...

Ibid - Gross. Awesome.

Velvet - Well, I'm tiny, so there's only so much of me to go around. This way, y'all could each have your own personal Shannon!

Patty Duke said...

Since I have aove avarage intelligence, It would only take about 1/1000th of me to change a light bulb. I'm thinking about stem cell resarch. I'm thinking 1000 of me.

J said...

Totally worth it

Shannon said...

Patty - You need a thousand of yourself?

J - Because, really, who wouldn't want one of me around?

Patty Duke said...

Sure, I'm that important.