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•  Clones are groups of genetically identical organisms, derived from a single original parent cell

Clones are groups of genetically identical organisms or a group of cells derived from a single original parent cell

  • Organisms that reproduce asexually will produce genetically identical clones
  • Additionally, mechanisms exist whereby sexually reproducing organisms can produce clones (e.g. identical twins)

Cloning multicellular organisms requires the production of stem cells (differentiated cells cannot form other cell types)

  • Stem cells can be artificially generated from adult tissue using a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)

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•  Production of cloned embryos produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer

Somatic cell nuclear transfer is a method by which cloned embryos can be produced using differentiated adult cells

  • Somatic cells are removed from the adult donor and cultured (these cells are diploid and contain the entire genome)
  • An unfertilised egg is removed from a female adult and its haploid nucleus is removed to produce an enucleated egg cell
  • The enucleated egg cell is fused with the nucleus from the adult donor to make a diploid egg cell (with the donor’s DNA)
  • An electric current is then delivered to stimulate the egg to divide and develop into an embryo
  • The embryo is then implanted into the uterus of a surrogate and will develop into a genetic clone of the adult donor 

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

somatic cell nuclear transfer