What is a clone?« Back to Questions List

A clone is an exact duplicate of a living organism generated under laboratory conditions from a sample of its tissue. Clones are organisms that are exact genetic copies. Clones occur naturally or made in labs. There has been a lot of interest in the research of the possibility of cloning various types of animals.


In the kingdom of plants, a clone consists of individual plants descended by vegetative reproduction from a single ancestor. Under the right consequences, a clone can grow to include millions of individual plants and perpetuate itself over a very long period of time. Clones that have been in existence for a century or more are not uncommon and certain varieties of grapes cultivated in Europe have been produced this way for more than 2000 years.


When an organism is cloned, they are making an exact genetic copy of the whole organism. But when scientists clone a gene, exact copy of just one of the organism’s gene is made. The process involves copying the DNA sequence of that gene into a smaller, more easily manipulated piece of DNA. Artificial cloning of organisms can also be termed reproductive cloning. Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. 


Dolly the lamb was the first to be cloned in the year 1997. Any cell in the body other than the sperm and egg is called somatic cell. The cloning technique was about transferring the nucleus of the somatic cell into an egg cell whose nucleus was removed. Thus the adult sheep was cloned to create Dolly by the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer process. 

Whether animals or even humans, cloning technology is opposed by the people of many nation especially the animal rights groups. The reason is though the cloned ones survive, they suffer from malformations before they die.


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