Cloning of St. Theresa reveals relic fraud
S.S. Pious, K.Y. Pérez-Pérez, K. Eleison and K. Honradow
Istituto Nazionale Vaticano di Investigazione Sacra (INVIS), Vatican City
Cloning of human beings is considered unethical, immoral, unscrupulous and offensive to the fundamental nature of mankind, as well as an obnoxious crime among believers of major faiths, such as Islamists or Christians. Some exceptions to this rule may apply, however, such as the application of cloning techniques to relics of sacred features, key spiritual leaders or beloved entertainers like Walt Disney, aimed to re-create widely-respected, missed or holy people that would seriously contribute to enlightenment and revelation. As a pioneering approach in this direction, we took advantage of the outstanding conditions of conservation of the rather famous incorrupt arm of Saint Theresa (1515-1582), kept at the cathedral of Ronda (Spain), to extract intact adult stem cells from the cubitus bone marrow. Microsuction with an ultra-thin Popote™ device (Miracle Biotech, Inc.) allowed the recovery of enough living stem cells for in vitro expansion on AMEN (Ave Maria Enriched in Nutrients) medium prepared with holy water (Getsemaní, PA) and supplemented with 10% fetal holy lamb serum. Saint Theresa cells (STCs) proved pluripotent and astoundingly healthy. Considering that the specimen was over 400 years old, and that the graduate student who took the sample was reportedly drunk, we hypothesize that it was a miracle indeed. Seven times 7 unfertilized human eggs donated by healthy nuns were enucleated, and nuclei from STCs were microinjected into them with due respect. Successful viable clones were selected and either frozen following the same protocol as the standard for Crunchy Golden Fish Sticks or implanted into the uterus of volunteer prioresses of the Order of the Immaculate Conception. Seven of the prioresses were happily pregnant, two of them with twins. Surprisingly, standard obstetric ultrasonography executed around the third month of gestation revealed that all 9 embryos were male. We conclude that the incorrupt arm of St. Theresa, in spite of all the veneration that has generated through history, is not a truly reliable item. Caution should be taken in potential projects of the same nature, such as those that may consider sampling the Holy Shroud or Mao Zedong’s mummy. Our research, however, opens the debate on whether nuns, under certain special circumstances, should be morally permitted to undergo abortion.