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Cloning animals

Identical twins are naturally occurring clones. Dolly the sheep was the first mammal cloned from an adult. She was produced by a process called nuclear transfer.

Nuclear transfer

Nuclear transfer involves placing the nucleus of a body cell into an egg cell. In Dolly's case, the nucleus [nucleus: The central part of an atom. It contains protons and neutrons, and has most of the mass of the atom. ] came from an udder cell of an adult sheep.

Uses of animal cloning

Possible uses of animal cloning include:

  • Mass producing animals with desirable characteristics, such as cows that produce a lot of milk
  • Producing animals that have been genetically engineered to provide human products, such as insulin or organs for transplant
  • Producing human embryos to supply stem cells for therapy

However, there are ethical dilemmas concerning human cloning.

Ethical issues

Animal cloning raises ethical issues about how far humans should be allowed to interfere in the production of new life. Regulations currently restrict scientific research into human cloning.

Cloning plants is easier than cloning animals. Cloning expensive food crops has been carried out for many years. This causes the public fewer ethical and moral concerns than animal cloning.

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