By Devin Smithwick, research scientist

Background/History of cloning

A clone is a exact copy of a living thing. Then investigation of this kind of genetics started with August Wiesmann, who proposed that cell differentiation would reduce the genetic information contained within a cell. This theory remained in place until German embryologist Hans Spelmann showed how split salamander embryos could still grow to adulthood. In 1938, Spelmann stated that the way forward for this area of research should be by inserting the nucleus of a differentiated cell into an enucleated egg.

Types of cloning

Recombinant DNA technology or molecular cloning has been in use since the 1970's and is commonplace in the field of molecular biology. In this type of cloning, a fragment of DNA is inserted into an element capable of self-replication such as a bacterial plasmid, which in turn is inserted into a host cell, such as bacteria, yeast, or mammalian cells, in order to create multiple copies of the original gene. . Reproductive cloning is used initially to produce a cell with the same nuclear DNA as its parent cell, a process also referred to as nuclear transfer technology, with the final goal of producing an entire cloned organism. Human reproductive cloning, and Therapeutic Cloning are two others.

Examples of Cloning

Rules and Regulations

In the U.S, officially, embryonic stem cell research, therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning are legal as there is currently no federal regulation or policies overseeing it. − Reproductive and therapeutic cloning are specifically not federally funded. However, research on human embryonic stem cells is federally funded if these cell lines were created before August 9, 2001. Private industry research is not affected by these policies and is allowed to proceed with the creation of new stem cell lines. − Some individual states have made their own laws against reproductive and/or therapeutic cloning. (See page 15 “State Cloning Legislation”).
Cloning process