• Question: is it possible to clone someone like one direction...

    Asked by maisiesandon to Jo, Loren, Lucy, Sam, Toby on 24 Jun 2014. This question was also asked by hannahsandon.
    • Photo: Loren Macdonald

      Loren Macdonald answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      In theory, yes, you could. But in reality, it wouldn’t be allowed for ethical reasons. They don’t even do much in the way of animal cloning- although I did see a TV show recently where in South Korea they clone people’s dogs.

      Also, whilst it would be possible to clone the members of One Direction, you wouldn’t produce the same person necessarily because what makes us who we are isn’t just our genetics. Much like identical twins- they are technically clones of one another (genetically identical) but they aren’t the same person. They often have different interests and likes- and sometimes even look quite different from one another.

      So, the answer is yes- but not exactly! You would also have to wait for them to grow to the age they are now- so I guess you’d be waiting a while!

    • Photo: Tobias Warnecke

      Tobias Warnecke answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      Hey maisiesandon,

      in principle, yes. A number of mammals have been cloned successfully (including dogs and sheep) so there is no fundamental technical reason why you couldn’t clone a human being.

      But you may not get what you expect! Cloning means, in a nutshell, that you generate an embryo with the very same genome that already exists in somebody else, say Zayn. But that embryo would grow up in a very different environment from Zayn, interact with different people, learn different things, have different experiences. So the person you would get – if you pull off the cloning, which is technically quite difficult – might look quite a bit like Zayn but behave quite differently.

      I guess I should also say that there are ethical issues involved in cloning humans and it’s illegal, but you asked whether it was “possible” – and it is, at least in principle.

    • Photo: Lucy Remnant

      Lucy Remnant answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      It is possible to create a clone from an adult but its also very difficult.

      Dolly the sheep was born in 1996 and was the first animal to be cloned from an adult animal.

      No humans have ever been cloned because there are lots of ethical issues with human cloning.

      Also, if you are saying about cloning one direction, does that mean you would want them to be exactly the same? This isnt likely to happen either because, even with identical twins they have different personalities and sometimes different interests. Also, depending on how you grow up effects you personality and your appearance and as the ‘clones’ would be growing up in a differnt world to that of their adult counterparts then they wouldnt necessarily be exactly the same.

    • Photo: Sam Lear

      Sam Lear answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      I think cloning a human being would be a very difficult task, and not something I would know much about. Scientists can certainly clone animals (like Dolly the sheep), but I would assume cloning a human would be more complicated.

      Understandably human cloning is against the law in many countries (there is a list on Wikipedia), and there is a complex debate about the ethics of human cloning. There are multiple points of discussion such as safety, the ethics of using human beings in research and religious implications.

      I certainly think consent would be an issue in your case – I’m note sure One Direction would like another band competing for fans!

    • Photo: Jo Nettleship

      Jo Nettleship answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      Hi maisiesandon,
      There are lots of ethical questions about cloning someone like One Direction. In reality I think no body would want lots of clones of the same person as the world would be very dull. One of the great things about the world is that everyone is different and has unique skills and things to say.
      As the others say, some animals have been cloned – although it has to be said that the best clones are identical twins. They have the same DNA. But, if you know any, you will realise that they are not exactly alike in personality. Therefore even if you cloned One Direction, they may not sing so well.
      Jo

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