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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 October 2020

The myth of the clonable human brain

The myth of the clonable human brain

(p.336) Chapter 20 The myth of the clonable human brain
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain

Giovanni Berlucchi

Oxford University Press

The long history of the use of animal embryos in biomedical research has recently been revolutionised by the so-called cloning or nuclear transfer technique. In contrast to the traditional in vitro fertilisation, obtained with the union of an ovum and a sperm, animal embryos are produced by inserting the engineered nucleus of a somatic cell, for example a mammary gland cell, into an enucleated ovum. According to this chapter, it has long been recognised that biological evolution by natural selection is predicated on the uniqueness of the biological make-up of the individual and the resulting variability among individuals in sexually reproducing populations. It suggests that it is time to acknowledge that a non-genetic inborn variability between the brains of different individuals may in turn help the cultural evolution of the species, by the chance production of the cerebral primordia of exceptionally gifted minds, to be nurtured in appropriate environments.

Keywords:   cloning, human brain, somatic cell, natural selection, biological make-up, cerebral primordia

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