Cloning Overview Pros And Cons

1096 words - 4 pages

What is Cloning?-Cloning means to create a copy of a living thing. This copy is called a clone and has an identical genetic makeup to the matter from which the original nucleus comes from.How? The Process-The most common method of cloning is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. A somatic cell is simply any cell, other than a sex cell, taken from the body.To achieve this method of cloning, a somatic cell is taken from the animal that is to be cloned. This must be done because the somatic cell contains the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the genetic 'instructions' needed to make up every living thing. Along with the somatic cell, which can be taken from either a male or female, an egg cell is extracted from a female of the same species.After each cell has been extracted, the nucleus of the egg cell is taken out and discarded, and the somatic cell is inserted into the egg. Using electricity, the two cells are 'fused', and so the egg now holds the DNA of the original somatic cell donor.The egg is stimulated and then divides just as a normal egg cell would. After the egg divides to the stage of a blastocyst, the cells are implanted into a surrogate mother, and continue to develop until an animal genetically identical to the original donor is born.Cloning Success-Although there has been a number of successful clonings, the most famous would have to be Dolly the Sheep. Born in July of 1997, Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from the cell of an adult. This success was a scientific breakthrough; one of the biggest of the decade, for previous clonings had been only from the cells of embryos. This meant that cloning would enable scientists to study the effects of aging and genetics, and potentially find cures for various genetic diseases.As well as sheep, there have been many other animals cloned over the years.The following animals have all also been successfully cloned: tadpole, carp, mouse, rhesus monkey, pig, gaur, cattle, cat, rabbit, mule, deer, horse, rat, fruit fly and dog.Cloning and Agriculture, Advantages and Disadvantages-Plants have been cloned for thousands of years. Some plants, such as strawberries, onions, grass and potatoes, can naturally clone themselves, whereas humans have been using vegetative propagation (using a leaf cutting from one plant to form another, which also has the same genetic makeup as the original) for centuries.However, scientists have recently discovered how to clone a plant in the lab.By collecting cells from the roots and then growing the cells in a special culture, the cells become non-specialised, and are called calluses. These calluses are then stimulated with the necessary hormones to grow into a plant identical to the original.As only the best plants are chosen to clone from, one of the biggest advantages of plant cloning would be the increased quality of crops. For example, clones from a particularly strong crop could prevent any further crop failures, which in turn would also lead to an increased amount...

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