BIOTECHNOLOGY is a general term that refers to all astudies
and techniques that combine the ideas and needs of biology and medicine with
engineering.The word is now often used to signify the field of genetic
Genetics is the science that studies all aspects of
inherited characteristics.Genetic engineering applies the knowledge obtained
from genetic investigations to solve problems such as infertility diseases,food
production,waste disposal and improvement of species.
Cloning is a procedure in genetic engineering.This procedure
yields clones.A clone is a group of plants or animals produced artificially
from cell of a asingle ancestor and therefore containing exactly the same
genetic material acid)>.Clones are not new to us.Clones form naturally when identical twins or
other genetically identical multiple births occur.Single celled organisms,like
bacteria,protozoa,yeast produce,through asexual reproduction, a natural form of
cloning,a root or stem can generate a new plant that is genetically identical
to the donor plant.
The cloning technique goes like this:
1. Select X and Y belonging to same species.
2. Destroy the nucleus of an egg cell of X
3. Take out a nucleus from a cell of Y.
4. Inject this nucleus into the egg cell of X.
The egg with its nucleus develops into an animal with the
same genetic makeup as the donor.
This technique was used to clone frogs and salamanders (a
lizard like creature)as early as the 1950s.However, a breakthrough occurred in
1996 when an embryologist, Ian Wilmut of the Roslin institute,Scotland,produced
a lamb which is known by the name Dolly. A mammary-gland cell taken from the
nucleus from the egg cell of a second ewe. The resulting cells were allowed to
grow into the embryos which were then transplanted into a surrogate mother ewe.In july
1987,biologists at the university
of Hawaii created more
than 50 mice using the Dolly technique but with two differences. One difference
was naturally dormant cells were used.The second difference was in the use of
extra-fine needle to inject the nucleus into the cell instead of fusing the
mammary cell with the egg cell using a spark of electricity.
The next obvious step is human cloning. While a few
scientists believe that human cloning could be possible with the same
technique, others believe that the technique is too flawed to apply to
humans.However,at a scientific conference in Rome in march
2001,fertilityspecialist,servinoAntinori,announced his intention of cloning a
human in the near future. And last year a company called Clonaid was planning
to clone a human using genetic material from a dead child on behalf of a
religious organization called the international Raelin Religion.
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