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Biotech Technology Idle

Cloned Horses Ok To Compete In Olympics 87

wisebabo writes with the news of a forward-thinking decision handed down by the Federation Equestre Internationale (reversing an earlier ban, so it's been on their minds) to not prohibit cloned horses from competing in the events it sanctions, including the Olympics. "Of course they'll still be restricted to the equestrian events (ha ha). One wonders if they'll be allowed to do the same in say, horse or dog racing. It'll then just come down to the ability of the jockeys I guess (or training). I wonder why they don't make all Olympic athletes use the same exact 'equipment' as their competitors. That would get rid of situations like with those super efficient swimsuits that were banned. Of course they really should return to the spirit of the original Games and compete naked. That would really improve ratings! (But it would make the winter games rather hazardous.) When do you think cloning athletes will become legal?" (Note to those who wish to enter more than one event: ultra-slippery swimsuits are back).
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Cloned Horses Ok To Compete In Olympics

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  • Dupe! (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by halcyon1234 ( 834388 )
    First post says: This is a dupe!
    • Of course they really should return to the spirit of the original Games and compete naked.

      But that would just lead to other regulations and attempts to circumvent them. Women's swimming would be merely a contest between flat-chested completely hairless females, while men's swimming would involve recently-castrated completely hairless males. Contests between shaved persons whose gender can be determined only by genetic testing is not guaranteed to provide a spectacle people actually want to watch.

      Then again, most of the current Olympics is just as bad - many of my colleagues refer to it as "tu

      • by E1910 ( 2681139 )
        Uh, sports competitors almost always have great bodies. They get it from the exercise. Yes, that includes face too. And shaving yourself is not that much to do. Hell, they probably can get someone to do it for them.

        But now back to cloned horses competing in normal races. Sure, but in the long run it will probably make every horse cloned to perfection. I mean, horse's penis can only grow so big it's better to clone the largest one and shove it in the back of the competitors owner. But will it make it more
        • Uh, sports competitors almost always have great bodies.

          I'm guessing this is in response to this line?

          Women's swimming would be merely a contest between flat-chested completely hairless females, while men's swimming would involve recently-castrated completely hairless males.

          If so, I think AliasMarlowe's point was that since you don't have clothing to streamline an athlete's body, only athletes that are naturally streamlined would be presented by their respective countries. That means athletes with big breasts, testicles, and/or penises* would be out, since those parts would increase drag.

          *While AliasMarlowe only mentioned castration, they also mention requiring a genetic test to determine an athlete's gender, so I suspect they w

          • by Cryacin ( 657549 )

            so I suspect they were including the removal of the penis

            And IT guys thought they had to make sacrifices for their careers!

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        (insert theoretical creepiness in some sports here)

        The gymnastics chicks are already fully pedo bear compatible, so at least with some events its not like they could possibly get any creepier. I dated a gymnast chick in high school and she was informed that she was looking "too old" to compete, because the judges only like the preteen look and she looked like a normal girl her age. So she was thinking about going into coaching because she didn't look pre-teen enough anymore yet she was pretty skilled. Some events are already maxed out freaky icky and com

        • In girls Olympic gymnastics -- not WOMENS' gymnastics because the competitors are all girls, not women, the trouble that women face is that they grow out of size for what they are expected to do. Once their bodies approach the size of normal women, it becomes physically impossible to do as many rotations in the air, jump their full height in the air off the spring floor or land a back flip ten thousand times in practice on the balance beam without breaking an ankle or worse. Taller women and those whose c

  • I think there should either be unrestricted garnishing, or a single, Olympic standard mayonnaise.

  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @10:40AM (#40601871) Homepage Journal

    nothing to prevent (short of lack of funds) trainers from cloning ten animals and taking greater risks with training because they have spares.

    • The same could be said of naturally bred horses. If you have enough money, you can just keep breeding the best together, weed out the unsuccessful ones and still have a whole lot of very good stock to train with plenty of "spares".

      • No it can't.

        If I make now 10 clones, I have in 2 - 3 years 10 exact copies of my "parent" horse.

        If I breed 10 offsprings, first of all the female horse is 10 times pregnant in a row. Or I have to take 10 different female horses ... which obvioulsy introduces differences.

        Further more, even if the same father and the same mother get 10 childs, they all will be different. So weeding the unsuccessfuls out might even weed all ten out ...

        It is not unlikely that the trait that made the father and the mother succes

        • We don't have artificial wombs yet, so if you clone 10 horses at once, you still need 10 different female horses... and there's a potential for differences there as well, since the prenatal environment of each clone won't be the same. Once the ten clones are born, they each have to be raised up and trained. There'll be differences introduced there as well. Cloning isn't like a copy machine. It's more like artificial twinning, with the additional complication that the twin may be implanted in a different
        • Exactly. Given enough money and enough mares, you could make hundreds of attempts, but the amount you could make back in winnings and stud fees has to be tiny compared to how much it would cost to run a breeding program like this. Now you could collect eggs and sperm from 2 horses, and then use in vitro fertilization and surrogate mares. You'd at least just have 2 sets of genetic material, but genetics is such a crap shoot, you'd go broke trying to get even 10 "perfect" horses.

          Cloning would be much mo
        • No it can't.

          If I make now 10 clones, I have in 2 - 3 years 10 exact copies of my "parent" horse.

          Cloning doesn't work like that. You have 10 genetic copies of the original horse, every one almost as different from the original horse as if you had bred the same stud to 10 different well-bred mares. There's a lot of random variation in gene expression in clones. But you get to use ordinary mares to gestate them, which is a saving and maybe worth it if one of those 10 clones turns out to be a good racer.

      • by Inda ( 580031 )
        That already happens.

        All race horses can be traced back to three thoroughbreds.
    • You need to train teh spare ones, too! So I guess a lack of time preents this. And: the horse likes to bond with the rider. So, the rider has to ride all horses ...

    • cloning one animal ten times, and taking chances with the training of the clones.,
      because if you take a risk that breaks a leg, you shoot it and have 9 more.

  • by Maquis196 ( 535256 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @10:41AM (#40601887)

    How long before the paralympics become some kind of cyborg olympics? It's like the ban of drugs and performance boosters on athletes. We all want to see what records can be broken, just how far can we push the human body (within limits, I don't want to see lives destroyed for a record).

    The olympics has become (or was it always in it's modern form?) a corporate circus. So let's go next step and merge formula 1 with it. /A Londoner not looking forward to public transport soon

    • by rednip ( 186217 )

      Londoner not looking forward to public transport soon

      I lived in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics and everyone predicted a traffic nightmare, but the reality couldn't be farther from the truth. Traffic was a breeze. Many workers took vacations, some to volunteer, others to watch, but many left town altogether. The out-of-towners hit the public transit a little hard, but the only stations really overcrowded were the ones closest to the venues. While it's likely that your fears are misguided, in the end it might be the perfect time to rent a car and get to

      • by trevc ( 1471197 )
        You obviously know nothing about London.
        • by jonadab ( 583620 )
          Most of what typical Americans know about London comes from fiction set in the Victorian era, of which Doyle's writings, and the many horribly-derivative works based on them, are probably the most important. You may now commence cringing, if you are so inclined.

          Oh, we also know about Trafalgar square, for whatever that's worth.
        • by rednip ( 186217 )
          Obviously, you know nothing about how to present a rebuttal.
      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        Considering Atlanta traffic, a nightmare would be a distinct improvement (spoken by someone who lives in the DC metro area).

      • by Inda ( 580031 )
        1. Unless you've already booked, hiring a car during the olympics is almost impossible.

        2. Cars travel at about 10mph through London. Cloned horses are faster.

        I don't drive in London. No one with any sense does. The last time I drove through London (city) was on a Friday night during the rush hour. It took 2.5 hours to get out of London; about 10 miles. 1 hour to drive the other 75 miles home.
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @11:17AM (#40602283) Journal

      Frankly, I'd love to see a competition where athletes use whatever enhancements they can. Pump yourself up with drugs, get blood transfusions from fifty people before you start the race, bring on the cyborgs an eunuchs! No holds barred.

      Sure, some hearts may just simply explode, but the Olympics stopped being about sportsmanship a long time ago, so why keep up pretenses.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @11:40AM (#40602609) Homepage

        bring on the cyborgs

        We already have those sports, instead of running we have cycling and formula one, depending on whether you allow engines or not. They're just not fancy enough to be called cyborgs. What's the point of seeing how far a spring-loaded jumper can be catapulted in the high jump? We already have human cannonball shows. Sure the Olympics have turned into a perversion of itself, but sports is a lot more than that and I'd hate to see kids and youth thinking it's all about the drugs and turning themselves into freaks of nature.

      • by hazydave ( 96747 )

        Actually, I agree with that. Not a huge sports fan, but if there really were some kind of "Trans-human Olympics", which allowed the best combination of athletics and weird science, I'd be more likely to stick around past the opening ceremonies. Better a separate event than just letting it leak in to the regular Olympics. I'd also expect that cloned horse to eventually have bits of tiger or dinosaur DNA... now THAT would be a horse!

  • Based on the excerpt I am not even remotely tempted to follow the link. Something about preferring coherently written prose.

    • ... but all they did was change the formatting a little and delete one or two sentences. As my only defense all I can say is I wrote it very quickly because I didn't want to be scooped. Here's my original submission:

      Cloned Horses Ok To Compete In The Olympics

      "Of course they'll still be restricted to the equestrian events (ha ha).

      One wonders if they'll be allowed to do the same in say horse or dog racing. It'll then just come down to the ability of the jockeys I guess (or training).

      I wonder why they don't

      • by yukk ( 638002 )

        When do you think cloning ATHELETES will become legal? That's something I wouldn't put past the old USSR/East European Block. Remember the "women" atheletes they sent?"

        Link to Original Source

        What do you mean when will it become legal ? It may not be legal but you can bet that certain countries *cough*China*cough* are already doing that.

        For some regimes the only real definition of illegal involves being caught.

  • It seems to me, that by making all the horses a clone of the same original horse (i.e. no clones-of-clones), then the variables will be reduced to the ability of the individual to play, as well as raise/train the horses - more in line with the Olympics, I think, than breeding abilities.

    Then again, if they want it to be a test of horse breeding too, then cloning shouldn't be allowed. I guess, what I'm getting at, all competing horses should be cloned from the same original horse (no clones of clones), OR no

    • They should clone the jockeys also. So we can find out who among them trained the hardest. While at it, while not clone all athletes, so we can have the Clone Games.
      • Except the jockeys are the human factor - what the race is about. The horses are just a tool for the competitors.

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          i think the betting industry is the "human factor"
          also while we are at it... centaurs

          • Right. The athletes are the tools for the gamblers to bet on, the commercial sponsors to sell their stuff, and sometimes governments to score political points (e.g. US vs. USSR).
  • That's what I'm interested in.

  • New athletics track suit ...

    And presumably new bicycles designs for the velodrome/road, new pistol/bow for the target events, new javelins designs, new discuss, new pole for the pole vault ... etc ... etc ... etc

    Oh .. and new designer drugs !!!!

  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @10:53AM (#40601993) Homepage Journal

    > I wonder why they don't make all Olympic athletes
    > use the same exact 'equipment' as their competitors.

    That'd be frickin' sweet! Like IROC [] but with horses!

  • I mean, hell, why not just fill the field of every race with Ron Turcotte clones riding Secretariat clones?

    Without the competition of breeding, all horse racing really consist of is a midget and some dirt.
  • Why clone people (even if it was possible) when it would take 20-25 years for them become (potentially) champion athletes

    It's much easier to illegally train (ie drug) unknown athletes for a few years, untested by drug authorities, before making a enormous debut into competition.

    History says this works quite well ... Off the top of my head:
    - germans in the 70s
    - US track in the 80s
    - cyclists in the 90s
    - chinese swimmers in the 00s

    and dare i suggest the current dominance of Jamaican sprinters who have 5 of the

  • For an industry which used to (and for all I know still does) prohibit artificial insemination, that cloning should even be considered seems crazy.

    • For an industry which used to (and for all I know still does) prohibit artificial insemination, that cloning should even be considered seems crazy.

      That's just a Jockey Club rule [] for thoroughbred racehorses. For other breeds, artificial insemination is common. Horse breeding involves only a small number of stallions; most stallions are gelded and never bred.

  • of course. This hits home in a lot of the cloning arguments. As long as "they" are not selecting genes from multiple horses to create a super horse I don't personally feel as though this would be wrong. Realistically speaking, even if they do clone the horse, there is no guarantee it'll be the same.
    • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

      I was with you for a bit, but notice you forgot the fine print: "but what if the horse is the famous Mr. Ed?"

  • Could we clone the Olympics and have an event with the same questionable "sports" but no corporate sponsorship, no control-freaks, no rules-lawyers, no TV commercials by the winners, no idiotic sports announcers (at least in the USA; compare "ninja warrior" as imported from Japan to the tired formulaic coverage on the locally produced shows). Basically clone the olympics, flush the trash down the drain, and try the new improved cleaned up version?

    Just a international group getting together and flinging jav

  • The equestrian sports are not only about the rider but also about the horse.
    Like with doping in other sports this should not lead to a competition about who has the best medical support so I think this is a stupid step onto a very slippery slope.
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @11:35AM (#40602545) Journal

    Personally, I wish they'd drop ALL restrictions.
    Let's see what the best labs, piles of money, human ingenuity, and OCD athletes can accomplish.

    I want to see sprinters winning the 10k in under 10m times with spliced cheetah tendons, and hyperoxygenated shrew blood.
    I want to see swimmers with shark skin, webbed everything, and re-plumbed breathing holes out the top of their head doing the 1500m without taking 2nd breath.

    Screw it, it's all about $$ anyway, and these athletes are already essentially sacrificing a normal existence for their sport. Let's see what we can accomplish when we REALLY try.

    • Make it like old NASCAR, then? Essentially waiting for a sprinter to collapse and die fo a massive infarct a foot from the finish line?

      Sounds like progress to me. Not. Not everyone goes to NASCAR races to see someone turn right in traffic. Ignornin the three road courses naturally.

    • It would be like the All Drug Olypmics []

    • by TheLink ( 130905 )
      All restrictions? So you'd be fine with "runners" driving/flying high speed vehicles? Or killing each other?

      No restrictions and no rules = no sport, no game. Seems to me what you really want are different restrictions.

      So you need to think harder about why your restrictions would be better than the current restrictions.
      • If you can't tell the fundamental difference between one rule (in a footrace, people actually have to be running and can't, for example, fly a rocket) and another (runners cannot take a certain type of drug before a race), you've got bigger problems, chum.

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )

          I'll just point out that you were the one who was saying "drop ALL restrictions". Note your own emphasis. I currently can't think of a game without restrictions. Different restrictions, different game. No restrictions, no game.

          So if you want a particular sort of running game/sport, you're going to need to think harder and deeper about the rules than "drop ALL restrictions". Otherwise you might as well play Calvinball.

  • Of course they'll still be restricted to the equestrian events (ha ha).

    ... I was thinking of the Top Chef [] event (ha, ha).

  • Reminds me of the bit from "The Games" where John and Brian are arguing about whether or not genetically modified horses should be allowed to compete in the Olympics... []
  • I suggest public attention to Olympics should be diverted to a better place by declaring Olympic games as a form of entertainment.

    Why would anyone care about the rules of Big Brother or Jersey Shore?

  • Begun, the Clone Races have!

  • Where's the money in cloning athletes? Now, if you get some hair from celebrities (say, Marilyn Monroe or any other sex symbol), you clone the celebrity and raise the child in a very protected environment to be sold to a tycoon when s/he matures (although most of the capital would be given in advance, so the clone would be mostly pre-sold), now there's a *lot* of money. Of course, it's most unethical and illegal, but that never stopped supply and demand.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter