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Cloning in Pop Culture:
There are many movies out there having to do with the idea of having clones of someone or something. In movies, it usually is always with the case of humans. Here are some examples of some movies and shows that have cloning involved in them. The one that is the least likely to happen is the one in Dexter’s Lab. In Dexter’s lab, the characters speak of a “cloning machine” like it’s a copying machine. Cloning just doesn’t work that way.
What is cloning? In Nature:
In nature, cloning is the process of producing populations of genetically-identical individuals. The organisms that are involved in “cloning” are usually the ones involved in asexual reproduction, such as bacteria, plants, and insects.
In biotechnology, cloning is the process used to create artificial copies of DNA fragments, cells, or organisms. Usually this is done by taking out the chromosomes in an egg cell by removing the nucleus and replacing them with ones extracted from an adult organism. The egg is then implanted in the womb of an animal – usually one closest in species to the original organism, and left to develop into first an embryo, and then into a living organism.
Two Different Types of Cloning:
There are two different types of cloning: therapeutic and reproductive. Reproductive cloning involves creating an organism in order to make a copy of it – it’s the one we most commonly know. Therapeutic cloning is used for many things including stem cell research, research into human development, and gene therapies. While both uses the same methods of development, the differences are that reproductive cloning is when the scientists allow the embryo to grow into a living organism, such as an anima, while therapeutic cloning is when the somatic cell is allowed to grow for approximately two weeks and then cells that were grown inside, usually a human tissue or stem cells, would be extracted. These things that are “grown” are usually stem cells, human tissue, or even whole organs that are used as a replacement organ during transplants in humans.
In present day, human cloning is NOT possible in most areas of the world. The reason for this is currently, any biological experimentation on humans is illegal in most of the world (including drug tests) UNLESS humans volunteer for them. The debate arose only after the famous Dolly the Sheep, the first animal clone, was produced in 1996 when the idea that if people could clone a sheep, they could clone humans started to develop. Several reasons for why this is illegal are because of the religious and ethical controversies surrounding this issue. Not only that but seeing as 1 or 2 out of 100 attempts at cloning were successful and because we also have a lack of understanding regarding human reproductive cloning, it would be unethical to try. Even if the cloning were to be successful, scientists aren’t sure of the impact it would have on the human clone’s mind. As mood and intellect aren’t as important to mice and cows, for a healthy human, these are very important.
So as of right now, legal human cloning for us is to the extent of natural-born twins. Twins are born with same copies of DNA – so technically, they are clones of each other. Scientists have deemed that at this time, cloning humans are potentially dangerous and unethically irresponsible. A few years ago, five scientists volunteered their own genetic information to create five human embryos for human clones. They were made in pretty much the same manner as all previous clones had been before, but when they were finished, they weren’t implanted. Instead, they were just left there because at the time, there was a serious debate going on about whether it would be right to implant the five embryos and allow them to develop. At the end, the scientists decided to destroy all five embryos and all of the research materials involved in their creation to end the debate.
On March 9, 2001, Severini Antinori, an Italian fertility specialist, appeared at a conference debating on human cloning. He made it clear that he had plans to start cloning humans and that he was ready to do so, as he himself had led many experiments involving the cloning of animals in the lab. However, the moment he made his intentions clear, the Italian medical authorities said that if he carried out his experiment, he would risk his right to practice cloning in Italy. In November 2002, Severini Antinori announced that a project to clone human beings had succeeded, due to be born in January of 2003. His claim was received with much skepticism The Human Reproduction Technology Amendment (Prohibition of Human Cloning) Bill 2003 was written in Western Australia to prohibit human cloning in Australia. On line 11, clause 53 C, it says:
53C. Offence -- creating a human embryo clone A person commits a crime if the person creates a human embryo clone. Penalty: A fine of 900 penalty units or imprisonment for 15 years or both. 53D. Offence -- placing a human embryo clone in the human body or the body of an animal A person commits a crime if the person places a human embryo clone in the body of a human or the body of an animal. Penalty: A fine of 900 penalty units or imprisonment for 15 years or both. 53E. Offence -- importing or exporting a human embryoclone (1) A person commits a crime if the person imports a human embryo clone into the State from a place outside Australia. Penalty: A fine of 900 penalty units or imprisonment for 15 years or both.
(2) A person commits a crime if the person exports a human embryo clone from the State to a place outside Australia. Penalty: A fine of 900 penalty units or imprisonment for 15 years or both. 53F. No defence that human embryo clone could not survive It is not a defence to an offence under section 53C, 53D or 53E that the human embryo clone did not survive or could not have survived.
On October 9, 2002, Clonaid, a medical arm of a religion called Raelism, who believed that aliens introduced human life on Earth, claimed to have successfully cloned a human being, claiming that aliens had taught them how to do it by providing them the technologies and the methods. This drew a lot of doubts as records show that Clonaid has never cloned any kind of animal previously. The spokesperson told the public that an independent agency would be proving that Eva, the clone, is the exact same copy as her mother. However, shortly afterwards, the testing was stopped and the spokesperson claimed that the decision was ultimately left to the Eva’s parents. In December 2004, Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, Clonaid’s Chief Executive, claimed in a letter to the UN that Clonaid had successfully cloned thirteen more children, but to protect them, their identities would not be disclosed to the public. All these claims hold some skepticism on their validity as none of these people who claimed to have made a human clone had any evidence to back up their claim. Whether those thirteen children actually do exist or if Severini Antironi ever succeeded in cloning a human, we will never know due to lack of any evidence.
Meet the Clones:
These are in no particular order. Copycat
This is Cc when the success of her cloning was made public.
This is Cc’s original “copy”.
The world's first cloned kitten, named Cc, was created by scientists in Texas using a cell taken from an adult tortoiseshell female in late 2001. The strangest thing about this clone is that Cc looks nothing like her original copy – so she isn’t much of a physical copycat – just a genetic one.
This is Cc with her surrogate mother, the cat that gave birth to her. Little Nicky Little Nicky was born on October 17. Little Nicky is the first cat to be cloned for commercial purposes. He was cloned from a cat named Nicky who died in 2004. He was sold to the owner of Nicky who bought him for $50,000 USD. According to reports, Little Nicky is the exact same copy of Nicky, the original, including in temperament, same likes and dislikes, and little habits. They even looked exactly a like. Little Nicky is the first of six similar stories of cloning cats being sold by genetic companies for commercial purposes. There are a lot of controversies revolving around the sale of cloned pets. Humane Society and many other pet advocacy pet groups have criticized pet cloning as wasteful seeing as 6 million pets enter shelters every year and about 3 million of them have to get put down.
Idaho Gem The world's first cloned mule was born on May 4, 2003. He is an identical genetic copy of his brother, a champion racing mule called Taz, and the first clone to be born in the equine family.
This is Idaho Gem.
This is Taz, his brother and original “copy”.
Dolly The world’s first domestic sheep clone – the first clone of an adult animal. Dolly was born on July 5, 1996. She was produced through the method of reproductive cloning, which is the cloning of an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal. She was cloned from an adult somatic cell – a cell with no nucleus – using the process of nuclear transfer. Her original was a cell taken from a mammary gland. Throughout her whole life, she had given birth to six lambs: her first is with her in this picture. Its name is Bonnie, born in April 1998. The others are the two twins, Sally and Rosie, followed by the triplets, Lucy, Darcy, and Cotton, thus proving the point that cloned animals can reproduce. On February 14, 2003, she had to be put down due to lung disease.
Mooving on A pair of new-born cloned calves was born in a cowshed in Ishikawa Japan on July 5, 1998. They were born exactly two years after Dolly. They are the second adult-animal clones, and were produced by a similar technique. A spokesman for the Ishikawa prefectural livestock research centre said the new technique would be used to breed better cattle strains with higher-quality beef or greater milk capacity.
Another pair was born in Brazil in 2001 and then 2005 named Alpha and Beta. ANDi (inserted DNA spelled backwards)
The first genetically modified rhesus monkey, at the Oregon regional primate research centre in Oregon, USA. The birth of ANDi, the first rhesus monkey cloned by embryo splitting, is another incremental step toward designing and perfecting new treatments for human genetic disorders Masha and Cumulina
Not sure which one is which. Cumulina is the world’s first cloned mouse. It is believed that the method used to clone Masha (the original) to create Cumulina was more reliable than the one used for Dolly, as Cumulina lived for two years and seven months – seven months longer than the average life span of a mouse of Cumulina’s species, which is the equivalent to 95 human years. Cumulina died on May 5, 2000. The University of Hawaii medical school said that Cumulina died in her sleep. Injaz
Injaz and her mother. Injaz is the first dromedary camel cloned. She was born on April 8, 2009, in Dubai. She was created from the ovarian cells of an adult camel that was slaughtered for its meat in 2005. The cells were grown in a tissue culture and frozen with nitrogen. Afterwards, it was injected into a nucleus-less oocyte of the surrogate camel. The resulting embryo was cultured for a week and implanted back into the surrogate mother’s uterus. Twenty days later, ultrasound confirmed the pregnancy.
Pieraz 2 is the clone of Pieraz, a champion racehorse in 1994 and then in 1996. He was bred in order to preserve the champion genes of Pieraz, who is a gelding – a horse who has been castrated – since the age of 3, which is traditional for all racehorses. He is the first racehorse clone. However, the Jockey Club of North American thoroughbred races has proclaimed that no cloned horses will be allowed to race. The reason for this is because they believe that allowing cloned horses to race is going against what any sport is built on – the unpredictability of the outcome of an event. Cloned horses are seen to kind of be “cheating” as they have all of the abilities of their original copies – or rather, everyone knows what their abilities are, and their faults are. It wouldn’t be a fair race, even though there is no guarantee that the clone would be as good, or better than, the original. But there are exceptions – though they are banned from racing, racehorses can compete in other events such as endurance racing, dressage, show jumping, three-day eventing, polo and carriage horse racing. Prometea
Prometea and her mother and original “copy”. The same team of scientists who created the Pieraz clone also cloned the world’s first horse clone, Prometea. She was cloned from her mother – literally! Her embryo, after it was created, was implanted inside the original copy of the Halflinger mare and in 2003, she was the first horse to be cloned.
Making Adult Copies:
By adult copies, I mean basically what Dexter’s Lab was doing – putting an adult organism, such as a adult sheep or human – onto the scanner and pressing the scan button, so that the result would be the organism would the be the same age as its original. The organism wouldn’t have any natural growth or aging – its growth would be accelerated considerably in order to catch up with the biological age of its original copy. Is this even possible?
Theoretically speaking, yes it is – but there’s the catch. First of all, the resulting organism would have considerably shortened telomeres. Telomeres help determine the biological age of an organism. The longer your telomere is, the younger you are. Telomeres are shortened as you age due to the need to always make copies of your DNA throughout your lifetime. With an adult copy clone, the telomeres would be considerably shortened, seeing as the original is already grown, meaning the original’s telomeres are shorter than when it was at birth. And if you copy it, and then speed up the growth again to catch up, the telomeres would be shortened AGAIN. Scientists think that one of the reasons why Dolly the Sheep died is because of her shortened telomeres. Telomeres can cause fatal problems such as cardiovascular diseases. Not only that but because of the strain put onto the DNA in this kind of cloning, the DNA would degenerate and the double helix would begin to unwind. And there would be nothing we can do to stop it. This would result in a serious breakdown of first the cells as the genetic material is no longer usable, and then the break down of organs. As we all know, DNA is the code for life – without it, our bodies can’t produce anything. But the biggest catch of all is that we don’t even have the technology for this kind of cloning anyway.
If you were a clone….:
If you were a clone, you would die at a young age. Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, died at the age of seven – normal sheep can live for at least twelve years of age. Dolly, however was a clone. This was the same for many animals. Their life spans differed from two days old to seven years of age before they died due to complications that arose directly or indirectly from being a clone. If you were a clone, sooner of later, you would develop some sort of fatal disease and die anyway, if you managed to not die at a young age. All clones in recorded experiments either died young, or they had difficulties and had to be euthanized. As a clone, you would still be able to reproduce. Dolly the sheep had seven kids in her lifetime and all of them are all healthy sheep now – even reproducing their own kids. But the thing is, if you were a human clone, you wouldn’t manage to reproduce anyway because unless we fix most of the fatal problems in cloning, you would die before you reached sexual maturity. The age of a human’s sexual maturity is at the ages of ten to twelve – so it’s quite “old” as compared to other organisms.
Saving the Animals, One Clone at a Time:
Cloning, as most know, is being used in many ways, including, recently, commercial methods. Cloning is also now being used for science research on reproduction in animals and also for clones, not to mention a new way of producing prized foods. But now, one of the most beneficial ways of the use of cloning is bringing back endangered species – and even extinct species.
In 2001, they began their experiment with attempting to clone a gaur, a bovine that is native in South and Southeast Asia. At 7:30 pm, January 8, 2001, the birth of the first cloned endangered species occurred. Noah was born at Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center, Iowa. His egg had been implanted inside a cow named Bessie, which was the closest species to his own. Though he was healthy at birth, 48 hours later, he died of common dysentery, a disorder of the digestive system that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus or blood. Scientists don’t believe that dysentery was a result of cloning.
In March 2001, scientists successfully cloned a mouflon, an endangered species of sheep found in Sardinia, Corsica, and Cyprus. It is one of the world’s smallest sheep. This was the first successful cloning of an endangered species since the cloning of the gaur. The mouflon is healthy and still alive in a wildlife center in Sardinia. Her name is Ombretta.
In the last 20 years Canis lupus almost disappeared from forests and lawns of South Korea. Instead of watching and waiting for these wolves to disappear, the Koreans decided do something about it. They continuously made a lot of efforts to clone this wolf and in 2005, they managed to successfully clone the first two wolfs, thereby opening a doorway to bringing back this species of wolves to South Korea. The thing about bringing back extinct or endangered species is the effects it will have on the ecosystems of many environments. Many of these factors affected would be the interspecies relationships. Competition for food resources would escalate as a new species are introduced into a cliché that aren’t supposed to be there. An example of this would be the effects of the zebra mussel. The zebra mussel is a mussel that is native to Asia and it was discovered in a lake in Detroit in 1988. Scientists thought that it may have been carried there by a ship from a freshwater port in Europe to the Great Lakes. Because there were no natural predators to limit their population, their population exploded and as a result, they have been clogging up water intake pipes of the cities whose water is provided by Lake Erie. They have been causing a lot of problems and damage to pipes ever since. The explosion of population of the zebra mussel also threatened several native species with extinction by outcompeting indigenous species. It is because of this issue that scientists are warning against the bringing back of extinct or endangered species, seeing as there are over a thousand different scenarios that affect the food chain and the natural way of things now by introducing something that was meant to be dead and long gone.
However – think about the kind of results we can bring out about with cloning. After the success with the cloning of the gaur, though it lasted very briefly, and the idea of bringing back endangered animals, they have been starting to look at cloning the cells of an extinct reptilian beast we all know so well – dinosaurs. Like in Jurassic Park, the scientists are thinking about actually bringing back long-dead-and-extinct species.
Interesting Facts about Clones:
Interesting fact number one: the F.D.A. has declared that food provided by cloned animals and their progeny are safe to eat. So right now, hundreds of thousands of cloned livestock are moving into the grocery stores all around the U.S and many other countries such as Japan, who have approved the cloning of livestock for food sources. Interesting fact number two: one live clone is the equivalent of a hundred attempts of clones. This is true, seeing as it takes a long time to find the right “combination” for the “lock” on a successful clone. This is also one of the reasons why scientists and animal rights advocates are questioning whether or not they should be cloning animals at all – some say it’s cruel, some say it’s just science and that they weren’t really alive in the first place.
Research Sources Links: The Human Genome Project: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/cloning.shtml Science for Kids – Animal Cloning: Double Trouble?: http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20040128/Feature1.asp F.D.A. Says Food From Cloned Animals is Safe: http://www.12ozprophet.com/index.php/kr/entry/fda_says_food_from_cloned_animals_is_safe/ CBS News – First Cloned Mouse Dies of Old Age: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/05/10/tech/main193799.shtml Magazinely – First Cloned Animals: http://magazinely.com/science/famous-cloned-animals USA Today – A first: Cast register jingles at Genetic Savings & Cloning: http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2004-12-22-cloned-cat-sold_x.htm CBBS News – Italian scientists create ‘first cloned horse’: http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sci_tech/newsid_3129000/3129947.stm Sciencemuseum.org – World’s First Cloned Racehorse: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/horseclone/ Barron’s AP Biology Test Preparation Book – Page 383. State Human Cloning Laws: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/Genetics/rt-shcl.htm Western Australia Bills – Human Reproductive Technology Amendment (Prohibition of Human Cloning) Bill 2003: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/bill/hrtaohcb2003683/ National Geographic – Scientists Clone First Endangered Species: a Wild Sheep: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1025_TVsheepclone.html BBC News – Endangered sheep cloned: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1573309.stm CNN – Raelian leader says cloning first step to immortality: http://archives.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/12/27/human.cloning/index.html BBC News – Company shows ‘cloned baby’: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2883161.stm Therapeutic cloning – How it’s done; possible benefits: http://www.religioustolerance.org/clo_ther.htm Guardian.co.uk Animal Cloning Pictures: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2007/jul/17/genetics?picture=330208891 First cloned kitten – but it’s not an exact copycat: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2002/feb/15/genetics.highereducation Wikipedia Cloning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloning Human Cloning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_cloning Biotechnology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotechnology Dolly the Sheep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_the_sheep Little Nicky: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nicky_(cat) Gaur: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaur List of Animals that Have Been Cloned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_that_have_been_cloned