Topics: DNA, Cloning, Gene Pages: 7 (1375 words) Published: September 11, 2014
Druga gimnazija Sarajevo
IB Middle Years Programme

Molecular biology


Teacher: Elvira Kukuljac
Class: I2 MYP ¸

Cloning is process of creating object which has exact genetic material as another one.1 It is very interesting field of biology for scientists as well as other people, but we still do not know much about how humans can be cloned. Method of cloning is very simple when it comes to explaining steps of it, but experimentally it is very hard to obtain it. However, humans have not been cloned yet, but animals and plants have. First animal cloned was frog in 1950s. There are three types of cloning – reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning and DNA cloning. 2

Reproductive cloning is type of cloning where genetic material from donor cell is taken and put into egg cell of surrogate mother. 3 Then, the egg cell is put into uterus of host organism, and with usage of mild electric shock is forced to divide, so producing embryo. 4 This process results in the creation of new animal. In 1996, Scottish scientists announced that first animal was cloned. It was sheep – Dolly. 5 Even though this process has not been brought to perfection, it can help us in many aspects of life. At first, reproductive cloning does not look like something that is useful, but it actually is. Firstly, it is very useful in agriculture. The best animal can be cloned many times, and so the farmer can have the field with the best animals. The same is with plants – you clone your best plants, and you get healthy, strong crops. 6

However, there are also disadvantages of cloning in agriculture. Lets take example of cloned plants. As all plants are the same, the best, we disrupt natural process of surviving only the best species. So, all these plants are exposed to same chances of getting the same disease. So, if disease hits one plant, it will most likely hit the others as well as all of those are identical. Also, there are chances that human will get cancer or other abnormalities because of cloned plants.7

Second type of cloning, therapeutic cloning is about giving us ready source of stem cells when needed. It is about giving us type of cells for certain organ when needed. It could help us to grow a replacement organ when needed. For instance, if you had your skin cells stored somewhere waiting for ideal opportunity to be used, you could use those to, theoretically, replace your burned skin with your already taken cells. Also, brain cells could be used after certain brain damage. There is similarity between reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Beginnings of those are the same, but end products are different. In reproductive cloning, genetic material is taken and put into egg cell without its nucleus. In therapeutic cloning, egg is used to develop stem cells which could further produce cells of damaged organ, while in reproductive cloning egg is used will possibly grow into baby.8

This type of cloning, therapeutic cloning, involves cloning human embryos, and after five days stem cells of new embryos are taken. Process of taking stem cells from embryos involve destroying embryo – potential life, and so is considered as immoral process.9 It is forbidden in most of countries.10 However, it is good that you have stem cells taken at your birth waiting for you, because it is good way of possible cure for you in future. It is expensive, but cannot be compared to its possible function in future if you get disease. Also, you do not have to worry that your body will reject the new organ body forms, as stem cells used in cloning are your own. This process is not still done experimentally, as it is hard to develop one single organ without influences of others.

Two American geneticists Joshua Lederberg and Edward Tatum worked with E. Coli and so developed DNA cloning or...

References: 2. Pregnancy. “Therapeutic Cloning vs. Reproductive Cloning” May 18th, 2012.
3. Wise Geek. “What is Reproductive Cloning?” May 18th, 2012.
4. eHow. “What are the Advantages of Cloning in Agriculture?” May 18th, 2012.
5. eHow. “The Advantages of Plant Cloning” May 18th, 2012.
6. Wise Geek. “What is Therapeutic Cloning?” May 18th, 2012.
7. Wise Geek. “What are Some Types of Cloning?” May 18th, 2012.
8. Endocrine Web. “Diabetes: What is Insulin?” May 18th, 2012.
9. Wise Geek. “What is Recombinant DNA Technology?” May 18th, 2012.
10. eHow. “Pros & Cons of Cloning” May 18th, 2012.
11. National Human Genome Research Institute. “What are some of the ethical issues related to cloning?” May 18th, 2012.
12. The Farns Worths. “To Clone or not to Clone: Ethical Question” May 18th, 2012.
13. Methods of Healing. “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning” May 18th, 2012.
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