Friday, January 14, 2011

Fruit from the Poisonous Tree

Despite not wanting to, DiDi, Chris and Mitzi believed what Alicia Van Dine just told them…that her brother, Louis, had had some of his cellular DNA cryogenically preserved before he died in the hopes that he could be someday cloned…and that that day had happened 28 years ago.

Science had finally caught up with science fiction…the timeline was even documented when they went online to do some research on cloning.

Cloning Milestones:

Cloning envisioned. Dr. Hans Spemann (Germany) proposed an experiment to remove the nucleus from an unfertilized egg and replace it with the nucleus from a differentiated cell.

Structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) discovered by Francis C. Crick (U.K.) and James D. Watson (U.S.).

Dr. John B. Gurdon (U.K.) clones a frog by transplanting the intestinal cell of a tadpole into an enucleated frog egg, which develops into an adult frog.

First successful gene splicing (recombinant DNA) by Paul Berg and Stanley N. Cohen (U.S.). A major breakthrough in genetic engineering.

Birth of first child, conceived by in vitro (literally “in glass”) fertilization to Leslie Brown (U.K.).

U.S. Supreme Court rules that a genetically created new bacterium (a non-natural man-made microorganism) may be patented.

Dr. Steen M. Willadsen (Denmark) clones a lamb from a developing sheep embryo cell. His experiment is repeated by other scientists who clone a variety of animals.

Dr. Ned First (U.S.) clones calves from cells of early embryos.

Drs. Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell (U.K.) create the world's first cloned sheep, Megan and Morag, from embryo cells.

Dr. Ian Wilmut and his team clone the world's the first sheep from adult cells. The lamb born in July 1996 is named Dolly.

Scientists at Oregon Regional Primate Research Center (U.S.) create first primates—two rhesus monkeys named Neti and Ditto—from DNA taken from cells of developing monkey embryos. They are not genetically identical because two different embryos were used.

A team led by Drs. Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell (U.K.) create the first sheep with a human gene in every cell of its body. The genetically engineered lamb is named Polly.

Dr. Gerald Schatten (U.S.) leads a team of researchers who become the first to create a clone (Tetra, a rhesus monkey) by embryo splitting.

Dr. Xiangzhong Yang leads a U.S. experiment to clone calves from frozen cells taken from a Japanese bull. The experiment is successful and proves that cells can be stored for later cloning.

The first patents for cloning are given to the scientists who cloned Dolly, giving their company, Geron Bio-med, exclusive right to the technologies they used.

Japanese scientists clone a baby bull from a bull that was a clone itself, the first re-cloning case involving a large mammal.

Five piglets are cloned by a company the eventually wants to reproduce organs for humans.

Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts clone human embryos for the first time.

President Bush limits federally funded human embryonic stem cell research to stem cell lines that have already been created.

A cat, called C.C. for “carbon copy” is cloned by a company that wants to go into business reproducing pets.

California becomes the first U.S. state to approve a law legalizing the therapeutic cloning of embryos.

Britain becomes the first country to issue research licences for human embryonic cloning to create stem cells. It specifies therapeutic, not reproductive, cloning.

Britain announces the first embryonic stem cell bank.

South Korea clones a dog names Snuppy, Dogs are considered particularly difficult to clone because of the complex reproductive biology.

Read more: Cloning Milestones —

“And that’s just the stuff that was documented,” thought DiDi, driving over to Charlotte Whitney-Dosvanmangia’s house the following week, “God only knows what was going on that the scientists didn’t let us know about.”

The biggest doubt DiDi had was that the clone would have been delivered to full term around 27 years ago, however Charlotte’s husband – the alleged clone – appeared to be much older. But, as Alicia had explained…

“Remember, it’s a COPY, so there’s bound to be some degeneration of the original DNA material.”

It made also made the prospect that much more terrifying. Because if the exterior was so noticeably degenerating, what was happening on the inside? In particular, what was happening with his mind?

What happens when the mind of a crazed degenerate degenerates? DiDi shuddered at the prospects.

So, now, here she was, driving over to Charlotte’s, ostensibly to interview her about the upcoming Valentine’s Day fundraiser benefiting the Heart Association, but in truth, to find something of Clive Dosvanmangia’s that might have his DNA on it that she could get to the lab to verify Alicia’s story.

Charlotte was spearheading the event and DiDi was going to do a feature article about it for her column in the Monticello Gazette, the newspaper that Skye Whitney owned. She‘d asked Charlotte if she could interview Clive, as well, since he was making such a large financial contribution to the project and Clive had agreed.

DiDi took a deep breath as the gates opened to the exclusive Wonderland Estates. She would have to draw on all her skills as a former attorney, whenever she had to call a lying witness’ bluff in the courtroom.

“Calm and composed…just stay calm and composed,” she kept telling herself as she walked up the stairs and pressed the doorbell of Charlotte’s mansion. Within seconds, an unnerved Charlotte opened the door.

“Charlotte! What happened to your eye?!”

To Be Continued…

Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach on daytime and starred in the primetime series The Royal Family and First & 10 and recurred or guest-starred on such shows as Designing Women, Grace Under Fire and The Parkers, among others. With a penchant for comedy, she's also done stand-up in clubs across the country and is the co-creator of M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex-Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).

1 comment:

  1. Wow, plot's definitely heating up! Good stuff!