Cloning | Definition, Types, History, Facts & Process

what is cloning

What is cloning?

In biomedical research, we have to come across with cloning. In biomedical research, the definition of cloning is that the process in which we make duplicates of different kinds of biological materials for the research process is known as cloning. With the help of cloning, it is possible for us to prepare genetically identical copies of a cell or an organism. In other words, we can also define cloning as the process in which a cell replicates itself without any kind of genetic alternation is known as cloning. All the prokaryotic organisms like bacteria have the ability to create its identical copies by budding or binary fission. On the other hand, we are creating clones of all the eukaryotic organisms.

History of cloning

The concept of cloning is not a new concept in the biomedical science. Its reason is that first of all, a German Scientist Hans Adolf had given the concept of cloning in 1885. According to Genetic Science Learning Center, in 1902, he was able to divide an embryo into two viable embryos. After that, in 1958, a British biologist was able to create clones of a frog from the skin cells of an adult frog. The first clone of a mammal was created in 1996. In 1996, a female sheep gave birth to a Finn Desert Lamb. After preparing first clone of mammal, the scientists were able to find out the ways to prepare more clones of other animals. Later on, scientists were also able to create clones of different cells of human beings. In 2013, the scientists were able to create first clone of human cells and it was clone of stem cell. Nowadays, the scientists are using these stem cells for multiple purposes i.e hair re-growth and treatments from the burns.

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Types of cloning

types of cloning

Most of the people think that there is only one type of cloning and that is organism cloning. They should come to know that there are three types of cloning and these three different types of cloning are explained below;

Molecular cloning

Molecular cloning is also known as gene cloning. With the help of molecular cloning, it is possible for us to prepare identical copies of DNA molecules in the chromosomes.

Organism cloning

Organism cloning is also known as reproductive cloning. With the help of organism cloning, it is possible for us to produce an identical copy of an organism.

Therapeutic cloning

In this essential type of cloning, it is possible for us to create clones of human embryos. These clones are created by producing the stem cells. After creating these clones, it is possible for us to use these clones for the treatment of various diseases.

Process of cloning

As we know that nowadays, it is possible for us to prepare clones of different kinds of animals but according to Bill Muir (a famous geneticist at the Purdue University), it is easy for us to prepare clones of cow than other animals. Its reason is that it is easy for us to obtain eggs from the cows than other animals. Here, we will discuss cloning process in cows. For this reason, first of all, we have to take DNA from the cell of an adult cow. This adult cow is known as donor.
After taking this DNA cell from an adult cow, we insert it in the egg cell of another cow. Before inserting DNA cell in the egg cell, we have to remove nucleus from the egg cell. After removing the nucleus, the egg cell will be able to read and duplicate the DNA of the donor cell. It is necessary for us to zap the newly born embryo cell with the help of electricity and it starts the multiplying process. When this newly-created embryo becomes a blastocyst, we implant it in the surrogate mother. As a result, a newly-born cow will be identical to the donor cow.

Facts about cloning

While studying cloning, there come some questions into our mind. If we want to learn it completely, it is necessary for us to get answers to these questions. Here, we will discuss some questions along with their answers about cloning.

Do clones ever occur naturally?

The answer to this question is “Yes”. There are some single celled organisms like bacteria that can reproduce identical copies of their cells with the help of asexual reproduction.

What sort of cloning research is going on at NHGRI?

The most common type of cloning research that is done by the researchers at the NHGRI is gene cloning.

Do cloned animals always look identical?

No, it is not possible that the cloned animals always look identical. Anyhow, these clones always share the same genetic material.

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