Mauricio Antón's illustration showing Ice age fauna of northern Spain.
Mauricio Antón's illustration showing Ice age fauna of northern Spain.

Cloning Genetics and Ethics, with Natalia Reagan

Image by Mauricio Antón [CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk All-Stars we look at the wild, wacky world of cloning. Primatologist and host Natalia Reagan explores the future, ethics, and current practices of cloning with comic co-host Chuck Nice, biological anthropologist Ryan Raaum, and Ross MacPhee, Curator of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. Join us as we investigate the differences between real-life cloning and the depictions of cloning in science-fiction. Discover more about the three main types of cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning, and therapeutic cloning. Learn about de-extinction and the efforts to bring back the woolly mammoth at places like Pleistocene Park. You’ll also hear about facilitated adaptation – using gene-editing to save/bring back species that are dying out, like the American Chestnut Tree and the Black-Footed Ferret. Ponder the moral and ethical conundrums involved in human cloning. Of course, it wouldn’t be an episode abourt cloning if we didn’t discuss Jurassic Park, and our experts reveal the oldest ancient viable DNA on record (hint – it’s not 65 million years old). All that, plus, the team answers fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on nature vs. nurture, cloning yourself, and the real motivations behind cloning extinct species.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cloning Genetics and Ethics, with Natalia Reagan.

In This Episode

  • Host

    Natalia Reagan

    Natalia Reagan
    All-Stars Host, Primatologist, Comedian, Boas Network CCO
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
  • Guest

    Ryan Raaum

    Ryan Raaum
    Biological Anthropologist
  • Guest

    Ross MacPhee

    Ross MacPhee
    Curator, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate Zoology Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Episode Topics

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