In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight
henwy

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Korean Cloning

Slate ran an article about why south korea excels in cloning. It seems that every few months we hear about some other breakthrough from the labs there about how they've cloned some new animal or otherwise mucked with the genetic goop of life. The head honcho there a theory of why koreans seem to do so well in this field despite the fact that the US outspends them on research on the order of 20 to 1 when it comes to stem cells.

The Chopstick Theory of Scientific Supremacy goes like this: Koreans eat with narrow, metal chopsticks. Nabbing grains of rice with slippery, steel sticks requires a surgeon's dexterity. That's why Koreans have mastered extraordinarily precise "micromanipulation" of eggs and embryos required for stem-cell and cloning research. Westerners with their clunky forks—and even other Asians with their thick, grippy wooden chopsticks—can't hope to compete with the dexterous Koreans.

The Chopstick Theory is how Hwang Woo-suk, the world's greatest cloner, accounts for his nation's stem-cell success.


These labs were the first to clone human embryos, the first to extract stem cells from the, the first to clone a cow, a cat, and just a few months ago a dog. I have my own theory of why koreans might excel at cloning technology. All this work up to now has obviously been to hit the pinnacle they reached this past july of cloning a dog. I figure Hwang Woo-suk is really trying to create himself the world's best tasting dog, and then mass produce it. It'd be like our equivalent of kentucky fried chicken once he manages to work out the details. Welcome to Woo(f)-suk down dog, a one stop culinary buffet of pooches.

Really though, with these scientists able to do so much more with so much less, maybe we should just consider outsourcing our R&D too.
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