Cloning is the procedure of producing a genetically identical copy of an organism or a cell. There can be cloned any part of an animal such as gene, cell, tissue, or even the whole animal. It is a laboratory process that is used to propagate the offspring who are genetically identical to the donor parent. In molecular science, cloning is a set of the experimental method in molecular biology and it is used to add the rDNA molecules with directing its replication part within their host organism. German scientist Hans Adolf Eduard Driesch first invented cloning through researching reproduction in 1885. He created twin salamanders via differentiating an embryo into two individual serviceable embryos in 1902. Then in 1996, Dolly came to the people as the first mammal cloning animal. It was successfully cloned from an adult cell. Dolly was the name of a lamb.
Types of Cloning
Some cloning can happen in nature called natural cloning that is also known as identical twins. You may think about bacteria. When a cell of bacteria replicates itself asexually without any replication or genetic alteration cloning happens naturally. Bacteria can produce identical offspring through asexual reproduction or binary fission or budding process. Natural cloning can happen in humans or other mammals. In this case, after fertilization there creates two or more embryos that contain almost similar DNA. Their genetic makeup nearly similar but they are different.
Mainly there are three variants of artificial cloning such as- gene cloning, reproductive cloning, and therapeutic cloning.
Gene CloningGene cloning is a molecular biological technique in which from an organism a gene of interest is copied out of all DNA. Then it is cut into gene size pieces with the restriction enzymes, for example, bacterial plasmids are cut with the same restriction enzyme. Gene cloning is used for downstream applications for example sequencing, mutagenesis, genotyping expression of a protein. Gene cloning is also known as DNA cloning. In this technique, a particular gene or DNA sequence is produced.
- Reproductive Cloning
Basically, in the early 1900s, German embryologist Hans Spemann discovered reproductive cloning that was carried out by artificial twinning or embryo splitting. This reproductive cloning system generates copies of whole animals and that implies the implantation of a cloned embryo into an artificial or real uterus, then the embryo develops into the fetus. Dolly is one of the most common examples of reproductive cloning. It is a sheep.
- Therapeutic Cloning
Generally, therapeutic cloning is referred to as “somatic cell nuclear transfer” that is “SCNT”. It involves creating a cloned embryo that can produce embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as donor cells without implanting the embryos in a womb. Human cloning is also referred to the therapeutic cloning. Stem cells could have important applications in treating injured nerve cells, organ transplantation, and so on.
In 2007, for example, stem cells originating from cloned macaque embryos were successfully differentiated into mature heart cells and brain neurons.
Besides this information about cloning, people also frequently asked some questions to understand more. So let's discuss these frequently asked questions. For example-
Can Humans Clone?
It’s very controversial to clone a human cell. Ethically it is not right to clone human cells. There has been no human reproductive cloning despite decades of speculation. Human cloning produces genetically specific embryonic stem cells.
Is Cloning Legal?
As it is controversial so it is very difficult to say the cloning is legal or illegal. But there are no passed federal laws in the United States which ban cloning completely.
Why is Cloning Controversial?
The cloning of humans is universally controversial. Psychologically, socially and physiologically cloning of humans has high risks and also exists controversy over the ethics and research cloning.
Why is Cloning Animal Bad?
Clone of an animal is the most serious problem. Because both of them are much more likely than other animals that have birth defects, develop genetic illness, and also die prematurely.
Naturally, cloning genes or DNA segments are done in many genetics and pharmaceuticals laboratories all over the world. In many ways, researchers can use clones. There are many technologies to clone cells in the laboratories and also used for reproducing a particular type of cell, like a skin or a liver cell.