For biologists - and gardeners as practical biologists - cloning carrots is routine - a slip of tissue can be re-grown into an entire organism. But not, apparently, animals, which have to have sex to reproduce. But why? The immediate answer lies in developmental processes which control how DNA is expressed. But what is the evolutionary significance of sex, and why are there so many seemingly unnecessary males? And what are the implications of breaking this sexual barrier - for sheep, cows, and now possibly even people? Biologists point to monozypotic twins as being more identical than clones, but they miss the social point that twins born as the reult of sexual intercouse have parents. The human clone has an entiurely new relationship to its prgenitor, with neither bio-mother nor bio-father. Politicians constantly worry about the weakening of family life and values; just where might babies which arrived sans sex take us?
Professor Steven Rose is a Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London.
Rose read biochemsitry at King's College, Cambridge and neurobiology at Cambridge and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. When he was appointed to the professorship of biology at the newly instituted Open University in 1969 he was Britain's youngest full professor and chair of department. At the Open University he established the Brain Research Group, within which he and his colleagues focussed on the biological processes involved in memory formation and treatments for Alzheimer's Disease on which he has published some 300 research papers and reviews.
He has written several popular science books and regularly writes for The Guardian. From 1999 to 2002, he was Professor of Physic at Gresham College with his wife Hilary Rose.
His work has won him numerous medals and prizes including the Biochemical Society medal for communication in science and the prestigious Edinburgh Medal. His book The Making of Memory won the Science Book Prize in 1993.
Hilary Rose has published extensively in the sociology of science from a feminist perspective and has held numerous appointments in the UK, USA, Australia, Austria, Norway, Finland and at the Swedish Collegium for the Advanced Study of the Social Science. In 1997 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Uppsala and in 2001 her book Love Power and Knowledge: Towards a feminist transformation of the sciences was listed one of the “101 Best Books of the 20th Century”. She collaborated for a number of years with the European Comission research division on mainstreaming women scientists in the European research system. She was the Gresham Professor of Physic with her husband Steven Rose between 1999 and 2002.