Process of Cloning

The most common cloning method, known as "somatic cell nuclear transfer" or simply "nuclear transfer," requires two kinds of cell. One is a somatic cell, which is collected from the animal that is to be cloned (known as the "genetic donor"). A somatic cell is any cell other than a sperm cell or egg cell, and contains the complete DNA, or genetic blueprint, of the animal it came from. For cloning purposes, somatic cells are typically obtained by a routine skin surgery performed by a veterinarian.

The other kind of cell required for cloning is an egg cell, which is collected from a female of the same species (known as the "egg donor"). In the lab, a scientist extracts and discards the nucleus of the egg cell, which is the part of the cell that contains the egg donor's genes. The scientist then inserts the somatic cell from the genetic donor into the egg and "fuses" the two with electricity. The resulting fused egg contains the genetic donor's DNA.

Things About Cloning

  • Cloning is a type of process that can be used to produce identical copies of organisms.
  • One type of clone is Natural clones, and those are known as identical twins.
  • There are also three different types of artificial cloning gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning.
  • Gene cloning is the type to produce copies of genes or segments of DNA.
  • Reproductive cloning is the type to produce copies of whole animals.
  • Therapeutic cloning is the type to produce embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.
  • Gene cloning, also known as DNA cloning, is a very different process from reproductive and therapeutic cloning.
  • Reproductive and therapeutic cloning share many of the same techniques, but are done for different purposes.


Animal cloning has been rapidly improving livestock herds for more than two decades and has been an important tool for-scientific researchers since the 1950's. Although the 1997 debut of Dolly the cloned sheep was a worldwide media event, animal-cloning was not altogether new. Dolly was considered a scientific breakthrough not because she was a clone, but because the source of the genetic material used to produce Dolly was an adult cell, not an embryonic one.
How does cloning affect the DNA of animals?
Cloning does not change DNA, and clones are not genetically engineered animals. It is simply assisted reproduction, similar to embryo transfer, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization.

Is animal cloning a new technology?
Animal cloning has been rigorously studied for decades, since the earliest research on embryo splitting in the late seventies and early eighties. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has analyzed numerous scientific studies on the subject, conducted over 30 years and encompassing several generations and large families of livestock.