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What is cloning?

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Cloning What is cloning? Cloning is the production of one or more individual plants or animals that are genetically identical to another plant or animal. Usually the members of a clone are identical in their inherited characteristics except for any differences caused by mutations. Nature itself is the greatest cloning agent. In about one in 75 human conceptions, the fertilised ovum splits for some unknown reason and produces monozygotic (identical) twins. Each has a genetic makeup identical to the other. Besides prokaryotes, a number of other simple organisms such as protozoans, many other algae and some yeasts also reproduce by cloning, as do some other organisms such as the flatworm and the dandelion. What is the significance of mitosis in cloning? Cells divide by mitosis, the process that produces identical daughter cells from one parent cell. Mitotic cell division is also the basis of all forms of asexual reproduction, in which the offspring produced are identical to the parent. Why clone? Cloning has great economic and medical potential. Scientists have been able to isolate an important individual gene (or group of genes) from one organism and grow it in another organism belonging to another species. ...read more.


Tissue culture can be accomplished readily with such species as grapes, orchids, chrysanthemums, asparagus, and carrots. With other species, especially the long-lived perennials such as oak and chestnut, it is a very difficult procedure. Other plant propagation techniques Cuttings- remove branches of the plant and re-grow in a nutrient medium. The exact same plant grows. Layering- natural process- the plants lower branches reach the ground and root themselves. Another identical plant grows. Division- splitting up a large or bushy plant, similar to taking cuttings. Cloning Animals In 1997 scientists successfully created 'Dolly' the sheep produced from the udder cells of a donor sheep. Is Human Cloning possible? Scientists began cloning frogs in the 1950s. When a team from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh successfully cloned an adult mammal for the first time in 1996, the possibility of human cloning came a step closer to reality. No one has managed to clone a human being yet, but several groups have announced that they plan to do so. What is stem cell manipulation? Stem cells are the master cells found in early stage embryos. They evolve into all the different tissues of the body, and doctors hope to treat many diseases by directing the cells to develop into needed implants, such as nerve tissues for paralysed individuals. ...read more.


Mice had long been held to be one of the most difficult mammals to clone due to the fact that almost immediately after a mouse egg is fertilized, it begins dividing. Unfertilised mouse egg cells were used as the recipients of the donor nuclei. After being enucleated, the egg cells had donor nuclei inserted into them. The donor nuclei were taken from cells within minutes of the each cell's extraction from a mouse. After one hour, the cells had accepted the new nucleus. After an additional five hours, the egg cell was then placed in a chemical culture to jumpstart the cell's growth, just as fertilisation does in nature. After being jumpstarted, the cells develop into embryos. These embryos can then be transplanted into surrogate mothers and carried to term. In conclusion, the study of human cloning is still relatively new, it is illegal in many countries and there is an ongoing debate about the morals of cloning. There are however many ways in which cloning can be of practical use for, production of offspring by infertile couples, the continuance of endangered species and the mass production of animals with genetically modified organs which could be used in humans. Finally, no one can possibly predict the future of cloning. I believe that cloning should be researched further, before it can successfully be of practical use to humans. Sarah English ...read more.

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