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Cloning: Have a Clone or a Twin?

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    Have you ever wandered what it would be like to have aclone, or what it would be like have a twin? Well in a fewyears you might be able to clone yourself. Thats if they legalize it in the US

    What is cloning?

    Cloning is the scientific process of combining the DNAof one organism with the egg of another. Creating a perfectgenetically matched lifeform. In other words getting an egg and fertilizing it. Then putting it back in the a surrogate mother.

    Who cloned Dolly?

    Scottish embryologist named Ian Wilmut cloned a FinnDorset lamb named Dolly from fully different adult mothercells. A.EducationWilmut was born in Hampton Lucey, England, attended theUniversity of Nottingham for his undergraduate work. In 1971he received a Ph. D. in animal genetic engineering fromDarwin College of University of Cambridge. In 1974, hejoined the Animal Research Breeding Station in Scotland,which is now known as the Roslyn Institute, and hasconducted research there ever since.

    In 1973, he created the first calf ever produced from afrozen embryo which he named Frosty. In 1995 he createdMegan and Morag, two Welsh mountain sheep cloned fromdifferentiated embryo cells. In July 5, 1996 he created a lamb called dolly, withthe help of Keith Campbell

    How did they clone Dolly?

    In 1990, Wilmut hired cell cycle biologist KeithCampbell to assist in his cloning studies. Their workproduced its first success with the birth of Megan andMorag, two Welsh mountain sheep cloned from different embryocells. In their success, Wilmut and Campbell pioneered a newtechnique of starving embryo cells before transferring theirnucleus to fertilized egg cells. The technique synchronizedthe cell cycles of both cells and their results led Wilmutand Campbell to believe that any type of cell could be usedto produce a clone.

    On July 5, 1996, Wilmut and Campbell used the sameprocess to produce the first clone from adult cells ,a FinnDorset lamb named Dolly ,after Dolly Parton. Theannouncement left the scientific community shocked as wellas the public, and kicked off a large-scale debate on theethics and direction of cloning research.

    What other animals did they clone?

    February 16, 1998 US Scientists cloned a Holstein cow Using DNA from the cell of a 30 day old fetus, scientists inthe United States were able to clone a calf. They named the Holstein calf, Gene. July 5, 1998 a cow was cloned into two calves in Japan Using cells from an adult cow, Japanese scientists clonedthe cow into two calves born Sunday, July 5, 1998. July 22, 1998 Mice are cloned. It was announced in thepress that Dr. Yanagimachi from the University of Hawaii andcolleagues had successfully cloned mice.

    August 19, 1998 Scientists announce that a near-extinctspecies has been cloned. David Wells, led the effort at theRuakura Research Center in Hamilton, New Zealand to clonethe last cow a species that once inhabited Enderby Island inthe Aukland Islands. A dog named Missy, is to be cloned. The Press announced8/25/98 that a wealthy couple donated $2.3 million to TexasA & M University to clone their dog. Dr. Mark Westhusin,co-director of the Reproductive Sciences Laboratory, is oneof the scientists involved in the project. Lou Hawthorne,president of Bio Arts and Research Corporation, a SanFrancisco corporation, helped negotiate the deal. The donorswish to remain anonymous.

    How can cloning help us?

    Cloning can help in many ways. It can help us cure many diseases like infertility, Downs syndrome. It can help us get rid world hunger. With cloning technology, instead of using materials foreign to the body such as silicon, doctors will be able to manufacture bone, fat, connective tissue, or cartilage that matches the patients tissues exactly. It can make foods healthier for us.

    Why is cloning bad?

    If a large percentage of an nation’s cattle areidentical clones, a virus, such as mad cow disease, couldeffect the entire population. The result could becatastrophic food shortages in that nation. Cloning maycause people to settle for the best existing animals, notallowing for improvement of the species. In this way,cloning could potentially interfere with natural evolution.

    Cloning is currently an expensive process. Cloningrequires large amounts of money and biological expertise. Ian Wilmut and his associates required 277 tries beforeproducing Dolly. A new cloning technique has recently beendeveloped which is far more reliable. However, even thistechnique has 2-3% success rate.

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