Noun: The process of creating an exact copy of a biological unit (e.g. a DNA sequence, cell, or organism) from which it was derived, especially by way of biotechnological methods
Cloning can be natural or artificial. Examples of cloning that occur naturally are as follows:
- vegetative reproduction in plants, e.g. water hyacinth producing multiple copies of genetically-identical plants through apomixis
- binary fission in bacteria
- parthenogenesis in certain animals
Making multiple copies by manipulation procedures or biotechnology is an artificial cloning. It can be:
- molecular cloning, where copies of specific gene fragment are produced
- cellular cloning, where single-celled organisms with the exact genetic content of the original cell are produced in cell cultures
- organism cloning, or reproductive cloning, where a multicellular clone is created generally through somatic cell nuclear transfer
Stomatic Cell Nuclear Transfer
So you want to clone your son and give him an identical twin brother? Here’s how to do it in theory. You take an unfertilized ripe ovum from a woman, and remove and discard its nucleus. Take a skin cell from your son and remove its nucleus.
Now, insert this nucleus into the empty shell of the ovum. Give it a few tiny jolts of electricity and with luck, he will grow and develop just like a naturally fertilized egg. If he is planted in a womb and all goes well, in nine months she will deliver your son’s identical twin.
A number of large animals have been cloned, starting with Dolly the sheep. Typically, in each case there have been hundreds of failures before each success.
These have included miscarriages, multiple deformities, sudden deaths, gigantism and more. Because of these problems, it is so far almost universally agreed that a cloned human should not be brought to term and delivered.