“ Cloning” in biology is the process of similar producing populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually.
Types Of Cloning
Recombinant DNA cloning
Reproductive cloning is a type of cloning which is performed for the purpose of creating a duplicate copy of another organism.
In somatic cell nuclear transfer, scientists extract the nucleus of a somatic cell, a cell which can come from anywhere in the body, and insert it into an egg which has had its nucleus removed.
The egg is stimulated, and it begins dividing and growing, developing into an embryo which can be implanted into a gestational surrogate and carried to term.
It is also possible to manipulate the genetic material used in reproductive cloning using recombinant DNA technology to alter DNA.
Therapeutic cloning is cloning which is performed for the purpose of medical treatment. For example, it could theoretically be used to grow a replacement organ, to generate skin for a burn victim, or to create nerve cells for someone suffering from brain damage or a neurological condition.
Formally, this type of cloning is called somatic cell nuclear transfer. It involves extracting the nucleus of a cell, and putting the nucleus into an egg which has been de-nucleated. Then, the egg is allowed to divide and grow. In therapeutic cloning, the growing egg is used as a source of stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells which can grow into a wide variety of different types of cells.
RECOMBINANT DNA CLONING
The fragment of DNA to be amplified is first inserted into a cloning vector.
MOST COMMONLY USED VECTOR:-
The most popular vectors currently in use consist of either small circular DNA molecules (plasmids) or bacterial viruses (phage).
The vectors contain genetic information that allows bacterial DNA replication machinery to copy them.
After insertion of the foreign DNA, the plasmid or phage vector is re-introduced into a bacterial cell.
The growing bacterial culture replicates the foreign DNA, along with the vector, in hundreds of copies per cell.
This process yields multiple, identical clones of the original recombinant molecule.
USES OF RECOMBINANT DNA CLONING
Recombinant DNA cloning is used to produce genetic material in large enough quantities for scientific use. There are a variety of uses for this reproduced, or cloned, genetic material.
Isolation of Proteins
Identification of Mutations
Diagnosis of Hereditary Diseases
Transferring Genes Between Organisms
Ethical Issues Of Cloning
Cloning has become a contentious ethical and scientific issue in some parts of the world.
Some people believe that life begins at conception, and they feel that reproductive cloning is unnatural and that it could potentially violate their religious beliefs.
Several nations have passed resolutions to explicitly ban human cloning, out of concern about ethical issues.
Advantages Of Cloning
Medical treatment is that it would allow doctors to grow replacements for missing and damaged body parts for their patients. This would eliminate organ and tissue shortages
Using cloned body parts would also eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs, and reduce the risk of rejection and other problems which are commonly associated with transplants.
Cloning research on mice has suggested that new nerve cells can be grown with reproductive cloning techniques and used to repair damaged brains, an application which could be useful for people with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or strokes.