Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!



Advantages and disadvantages of cloning

How to clone cows using embryo transplants

How to clone cows using embryo transplants

This technique could be used to make many copies of cows that have a high milk yield. It would produce a herd of cows much faster than if the original cow was used for breeding in the normal way. Sexual reproduction is still involved and the calves are not identical to either parent.

Producing many genetically modified pigs

Pigs may be able to grow replacement organs for use in human transplant surgery. The pigs would first have human genes inserted into their cells so that the organs would not be rejected when transplanted into a human. Inserting human genes into a pig is very difficult. Once it has been done successfully the pig would be cloned so that many copies of the organ could be grown.

Advantages and disadvantages of cloning


Advantage or disadvantageCloning situation
AdvantageAll the new plants are genetically identical – they will all have the desired characteristics.
AdvantageOrganisms that are difficult or slow to breed normally can be reproduced quickly. Some plant varieties do not produce seeds, others have seeds that are dormant for long periods.
DisadvantageIf a clone is susceptible to disease or changes in environment, then all the clones will be susceptible.
DisadvantageIt will lead to less variation, and less opportunity to create new varieties in the future.

Back to The building blocks of cells index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.