Cloning Overview - Pros and Cons

Essay by mudcake_2High School, 10th gradeA-, July 2007

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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...