Organism cloning (also called reproductive cloning) refers to the procedure of creating a new multicellular organism, genetically identical to another. In essence this form of cloning is an asexual method of reproduction, where fertilization or inter-gamete contact does not take place. Asexual reproduction is a naturally occurring phenomenon in many species, including most plants (see vegetative reproduction) and some insects. Scientists have made some major achievements with cloning, including the asexual reproduction of sheep and cows. There is a lot of ethical debate over whether or not cloning should be used. However, cloning, or asexual propagation, has been common practice in the horticultural world for hundreds of years. Artificial cloning of organisms may also be called reproductive cloning. First moves
Hans Spemann, a German embryologist was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1935 for his discovery of the effect now known as embryonic induction, exercised by various parts of the embryo, that directs the development of groups of cells into particular tissues and organs. In 1928 he and his student, Otto Mangold, were the first to performsomatic-cell nuclear transfer using amphibian embryos – one of the first moves towards cloning. Methods
Reproductive cloning generally uses "somatic cell nuclear transfer" (SCNT) to create animals that are genetically identical. This process entails the transfer of a nucleus from a donor adult cell (somatic cell) to an egg that has no nucleus. If the egg begins to divide normally it is transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother. Such clones are not strictly identical since the somatic cells may contain mutations in their nuclear DNA. Additionally, the mitochondria in the cytoplasm also contains DNA and during SCNT this mitochondrial DNA is wholly from the cytoplasmic donor's egg, thus the mitochondrial genome is not the same as that of the nucleus donor cell from which it was produced. This may have important implications for cross-species nuclear transfer in which nuclear-mitochondrial incompatibilities may lead to death. Artificial embryo splitting or embryo twinning may also be used as a method of cloning, where an embryo is split in the maturation before embryo transfer. It is optimally performed at the 6- to 8-cell stage, where it can be used as an expansion of IVF to increase the number of available embryos. If both embryos are successful, it gives rise to monozygotic (identical) twins.
A blastocyst is formed in the early stage of the development of an embryo. During cloning process, the blastocyst cells often are obtained by scientists 5 days after the egg has been divided.
Dolly, a Finn-Dorset ewe, was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell. Dolly was formed by taking a cell from the udder of her biological mother. Her embryo was created by taking the cell and inserting it into a sheep ovum. The embryo was then placed inside a female sheep that went through a normal pregnancy. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and lived there from her birth in 1996 until her death in 2003 when she was six. Her stuffed remains were placed at Edinburgh's Royal Museum, part of theNational Museums of Scotland. Dolly was publicly significant because the effort showed that genetic material from a specific adult cell, programmed to express only a distinct subset of its genes, can be reprogrammed to grow an entirely new organism. Before this demonstration, it had been shown by John Gurdon that nuclei from differentiated cells could give rise to an entire organism after transplantation into an enucleated egg. However, this concept was not yet demonstrated in a mammalian system. Cloning Dolly the sheep had a low success rate per fertilized egg; she was born after 277 eggs were used to create 29 embryos, which only produced three lambs at birth, only one of which lived. Seventy calves have been...
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