Planning To Resurrect Through Cloning
Film-lovers still remember ‘Universal Soldier’, a 1992 American military science fiction action movie directed by Roland Emmerich. The film tells the story of Luc Deveraux, a former US Army personnel, who was killed in the Vietnam War in 1969, and returned to life following a secret military project, called the Universal Soldier programme. He finds out about his past, although his memory was erased, and escapes alongside a young TV journalist. Along the way, they have to deal with the return of his archenemy, Sergeant Andrew Scott, who had lost his sanity in the Vietnam War, and became a psychotic megalomaniac, intent on killing him and leading the Universal Soldiers. Universal Soldiers were depicted as a group of terrible and unconquerable Armies that had been resurrected!
In reality, Russia has evinced interest in creating such an invincible Armed Forces. The Kremlin wants to develop clones of the terrible warriors of a nomadic group, who used to rule the Eruasia Region 3,000 years ago! However, it is still not clear why Russia wants to create such Armed Forces. Russian Defence Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoigu has made a strong indication in this regard. Russia has one of the largest Armies in the world, and the Russian Army is also one of the best in the world in terms of strength.
President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin recently asked his Defence Minister to strengthen the Army. Shoigu, also the General of the Russian Army who is known to be close to Putin, has started preparing plans after receiving instructions from his President. As he wants to meet the President’s expectations, the Defence Minister has decided to create a special troop of clone soldiers for the Army. Shoigu has already asked the Russian scientists to carry out research on the DNA collected from the remains of those 3,000-year-old fighters.
The remains of nomadic warriors, namely the Scythians, were recovered from the Tundra region of Siberia nearly two decades ago. The Scythians, known as Scyth, Saka, Sakae, Iskuzai or Askuzai, were ancient nomadic people of Eurasia, inhabiting the region of Scythia. Classical Scythians dominated the Pontic steppe from approximately the 7th Century BC until the 3rd Century BC. Their culture flourished from around 900 BC to around 200 BC, by which time they had extended their influence all over Central Asia, from China to the northern Black Sea. A natural warrior and nomadic race, these Scythians are known as the ancestors of the Mongols. They used to live in Iran from the 9th Century BC to the 2nd Century BC. Later, the Mongols occupied a large part of Eurasia. They even arrived in India. Shoigu wants to make troops for the Russian Army from the genes of those Scythian fighters.
Speaking at an event organised by the Russian Geographical Society in mid-April (2021), Shoigu was heard saying: “Hopefully something can be made from the DNA of Scythian warriors found in the Siberian Tundra. Of course, we would like very much to find the organic matter.” He referred to well-preserved remains of ancient people and animals, stating: “I believe you understand what would follow that. It would be possible to make something of it, if not Dolly the Sheep.” While Cloning is known as the process of generating a genetically identical copy of a cell or an organism; it happens often in nature, when a cell replicates itself asexually without any genetic alteration or recombination. Dolly was a female domestic sheep and the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer on July 5, 1996 at the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh. It died on February 14, 2003. Shoigu revealed that some biological cells had been found in the remains of Scythian warriors that could be used to clone them.
According to the scientists, the temperature remains extremely low in Tundra, where the remains of Scythian soldiers have been found. It is, hence, possible to find some organic remains from 3,000-year-old bodies that could be used to make clones. However, scientists have not yet been able to create human clones. They have admitted that there are some complications in creating human clones. The cloning process usually requires the transfer of nuclei from old cells to new ones. For that, the nucleus of the new cell has to be removed first. This process has to be completed by keeping the two essential proteins of the human cell intact. The problem is that these two protein cells remain very close to the nucleus. So, the nucleus cannot be removed without damaging the two protein cells. Human clones have not been created till date due to this problem. Hence, Shoigu’s plan has stunned the scientists.
Even if Russia somehow manages to overcome legal hurdles and scientific adversities, it would be difficult for Shoigu to fulfill President Putin’s dream. How skilled will be the cloned fighters who will carry the genes of the Scythians, the mighty warriors and the extraordinary cavalries, in the 21st Century? According to the Russian Defence Minister, it could take at least 20 years to build this Army, if all goes well. Here arises an important question: Who will take care of these soldiers during their childhood? In other words, who will be their legal parents? Scientists are of the opinion that genes certainly have an impact on human nature. However, character building and thought process largely depend on our surroundings, environment and growth. Will it be possible for those cloned soldiers made from the genes of the Scythians to change the definition of Modern Warfare? The Human Civilisation would have to wait to get an answer to this…
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