Cloning - Cloning Cloning is the process of artificially...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Cloning Cloning is the process of artificially reproducing a gene, set of genes, or a whole organism. One of the most common uses of cloning is to create many identical copies of a certain gene. To accomplish this, the gene is isolated and then inserted into a bacterium. The bacterium is then allowed to reproduce, copying the inserted gene with it. This method is currently being used in the human genome project to make copies of human genes to study. Cloning is also used in agriculture to produce identical reproductions of a crop. A tissue sample can be cut from a parent plant and then exposed to a mixture of nutrients and specially manipulated hormones that cause it to grow roots. At that point the clone can be transferred into soil and grown normally. Thousands of offspring can be created from a single plant using this method by simply dividing the tissue sample before it is able to take root. Using these ideas scientists have been able to create artificial "seeds" from cells that would otherwise never be able to reproduce. By inserting cell samples into a tiny, specially prepared hormone-nutrient mix container a biotechnologist can create thousands of seeds that will grow into genetically identical crops. The benefits to such crops are many: strong plants can be isolated for reproduction without wasting resources on plants with poor yields (can be used on replicating best animals also), genetically identical plants mature at the same rate simplifying the harvest season, and yields are generally more dependable. The drawbacks are the costs and the reduction of genetic diversity. A disease that threatens one plant will also threaten all of its clones. Recently geneticists have taken cloning a step further and have begun to successfully work with animals. In 1997 Scottish scientists announced that they had made the first clone of a mammal by taking the genetic information from an adult sheep and inserting it into an egg, which was then allowed to mature in a surrogate mother. The resulting offspring was proven to have genes that were identical to its parent. This startling breakthrough has many implications, especially when one considers that a similar process would probably work with humans. (Contents) A. What is animal cloning? Farm animals vary widely in their commercial value, depending on the characteristics of their breed (for example, amount of meat or quantity of milk they produce). Farmers have always bred animals to make the most of beneficial characteristics. New Zealand relies heavily on continuous improvements to remain internationally competitive. Reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are widely used in livestock breeding to achieve output gains by selecting for valuable characteristics. Animal cloning is another of these reproductive technologies. It differs from AI, IVF and embryo
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 7

Cloning - Cloning Cloning is the process of artificially...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online