The term “cloning” is the transplantation of a nucleus from a somatic cell into an ovum, which then develops into an embryo. A cell or organism derived through asexual (without sex) reproduction containing the identical genetic information of the parent cell or organism.
When speaking of cloning, we typically think of organism cloning, but there are actually three (3) types of cloning:
1. Reproductive Cloning or Organism Cloning is technology used in a laboratory to generate an identical copy of an animal and/or mammal that has the same nuclear DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as another currently or previously existing. This was the technology and process used to create Dolly the sheep.
2. Therapeutic Cloning, also know as “embryo cloning” is the production of human embryos for use in research. This process is not to create a cloned human, but instead to harvest stem cells that can be used to study human development and treat diseases, such as, cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and many others.
3. Recombinant DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Technology or Molecular Cloning is the process making identical copies of DNA molecules. This type of cloning is also known as gene cloning, and has been around since the 1970‘s. A process of the transfer of a DNA fragment of interest from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element. This technology has become a common practice in molecular biology labs today.
The first mammal cloned from the cell of an adult animal was Dolly, a female domestic sheep. She was cloned from an adult somatic body cell. A process called SCNT (Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer), also known as Reproductive Cloning. Dolly was born July 5, 1996 and died February 14, 2003, at the age of six from lung cancer and arthritis that led to her early death. The life span of Dolly’s breed ranges from 11 to 12 years.
Dolly was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Although Dolly was born an innocent lamb, she quickly caused panic and controversy among academic and popular literature on the ethics and regulation of cloning.
After the birth of Dolly, people began to question, that if the claims of mammals is possible, then will scientist soon start cloning human beings as well.
Scientist clone animals to show them what might happen if they were to clone human beings. When you hear of cloning success, they don’t tell you about the many attempts and failures they encounter, just to create that one clone; who even then is not always developed properly. No matter how successful a clone has come about, there are always problems that arise later during the animals development into adulthood.
The success rate of cloning animals through somatic cell nuclear transfer