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In 1979, a low budget movie, The Clonus Horror (usually referred to as Clonus), told the story of an isolated community in a remote desert, where clones were bred as a source of replacement organs for the social elite. A few years later, Michael Bay, of Transformers fame, decided Clonus could be made as a big budget movie: The Island. Released in 2005, The Island borrowed not only from Clonus, but also from other cloning/escape-from-dystopia sci-fi films, such as Fahrenheit 451, THX 1138, and Logan’s Run. The key players in The Island are Lincoln Six Echo (played by Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), who, like the characters in Clonus, live in a modified military compound governed by strict rules. Running the facility is Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean), founder of Merrick Biotech. The residents (inmates) have been indoctrinated into believing the world has become too contaminated for human life, which is why everyone must live in the hermetically sealed compound until they can move to The Island—supposedly the last pathogen-free area on the planet. Every week a lottery is held and a winner is selected to go to The Island. Echoing the Clonus plot, Lincoln questions the reality of his world when he has dreams he knows can’t be his. One day Lincoln witnesses a fellow inmate being wheeled into surgery to have his organs harvested. Lincoln puts the pieces together: the lottery is a guise to kill the “winners” for organ harvesting. The action—involving Lincoln and Jordan’s escape from the compound, their realization they are clones of wealthy sponsors, their search for their sponsors while being followed by mercenaries paid by Merrick, and a switched identity—cumulates in a clash with Merrick and the release of the clones.
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The Island cost $ 126 million to produce, compared to Clonus’s $ 257,000 budget.
Not surprisingly, the Clonus creators filed a copyright infringement suit and eventually reached a settlement, the terms of which were sealed.
Many domestic cattle have been successfully cloned, although the result of the first attempt to clone an endangered species of cattle—a rare gaur ox—died 48 h after birth. Cumulina, a cloned mouse, was cloned from adult cells at the University of Hawaii in 1997. She survived to adulthood and produced two litters, before dying in 2000. Prometea, the first cloned horse, was born in May 2003, while the appropriately named Copy Cat was born in 2002, and gave birth to kittens in September 2006. Then there is Snuppy, a cloned dog born in South Korea. The South Korean group also cloned two wolf cubs, called Snuwolf and Snuwolffy.
Telomeres, regions of repetitive nucleotide sequences located at the ends of a chromosome, protect the ends of the chromosome from deterioration; if cells divided without telomeres they would lose the ends of their chromosomes, and the information they contain. Telomeres also protect a cell’s chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging—abnormalities that can lead to cancer.
In The 6th Day, Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a family man whose life is shattered when he is cloned illegally by Replacement Technologies, a cloning conglomerate. Gibson sets out to find out why he was cloned, but the firm’s bad guys are after Adam to kill him before he reveals their secret. The real Adam teams up with his (cloned) impostor to fight against Replacement Technologies to get his identity back.
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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