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Science Of Cloning: The Facts You Need To Know

By Kumar Rahul (KR) | Mar 03, 2017 04:26 AM EST

Cloning is a phenomenon that refers to an end product, which is derived from a particular biological entity, involving genes replication. It tends to have the same genetic makeup as the original.

According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, there are certain single-celled organisms and plants that are capable of producing "clones" through a process called "asexual reproduction". Natural clones, on the other hand, refers to "identical twins", and is very common in human and other mammals. Identical twins are of almost the same genetic makeup as each other but differ from both the parents genetically.

Artificial cloning is generally of three types, namely "gene cloning", "reproductive cloning" and "therapeutic cloning". Gene cloning, also known as DNA cloning, is done differently from that of reproductive and therapeutic cloning. It produces copies of genes or DNA strands, while reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals and by therapeutic cloning, embryonic stem cells for experiments are produced, which are generally aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.

According to CNN, the history of cloning goes back more than 50 years. In 1952, scientists first demonstrated that it was possible to remove the nucleus from a frog's egg, replacing it with an embryonic frog cell and produce eggs that can develop into a tadpole. In 1975, scientists went on to transform cell nuclei from adult frogs into tadpoles. On February 22, 1997, amidst huge protests against cloning, the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was revealed. She was actually born on July 5, 1996.

 In December 2002, the first human clone, a baby girl named Eve was claimed to be borne by Clonaid. The same company claimed to have produced the first baby boy through cloning, whose tissue was allegedly derived from a two-year-old Japanese boy who got killed in an accident in 2001.No physical evidence of the cloning was ever produced by Clonaid. In 2006, a claim to have produced human embryos through cloning was proved to have been faked in an investigation.

The latest revelation about cloning came in the year 2014 when scientists came up with the usage of cloning technologies for generating stem cells genetically matched to adult patients. Reports reveal that the nucleus of an adult skin cell inside an egg was put was developed through the initial stages of embryonic development.  

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