What is cloning?
Cloning is any process, whether natural or artificial, leading to an identical copy or copies of a specific organism.
Natural cloning is a very common process in some plants and single-celled organisms through a procedure called asexual reproduction. An offspring is generated from a copy of one cell from the parent specie. In humans, identical twins are also a result of natural cloning but such occurrence is more of a rarity than a regular thing.
There are three kinda of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning, and therapeutic cloning.
Gene cloning is also known as DNA cloning. Here, genes or parts of an organism’s DNA are copied and reproduced.
Dolly, the sheep clone, was successfully accomplished by scientists in 1996. Just recently, a clone of a human embryo had been effected by genetic scientists. But it is only up to the embryonic stage at this point. Knowledge is still lacking for the clone to be grown into a baby complete with all the amenities of a human being, including internal organs. Much research still has to be done.
Reproductive cloning. Here, whole or total copies of an animal or human is identically produced.
Therapeutic cloning. Also known as Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer or SCNT. This is related to the reproduction of embryonic stem cells for purposes of creating tissues to replaced injured or sickness-ridden tissues. A very effective argument for the benefits of therapeutic cloning is that all damaged or injured cells that need to be replaced are pluripotent. This means that cells, with special mention of stem cells can potentially be cloned to replace virtually all types of dysfunctional cells holding almost all types of diseases. This is one scientific frontier that is virtually untapped and can mean a lot to millions of sick and elderly people. This type of cloning can realistically extend the average human life span in the future and improve quality and comfort of life.
What is cloning?