What is Cloning?
Cloning is the process of duplicating a certain gene, tissue, or piece of DNA without sexual interaction. Thus, a clone is the genetically identical copy of an organism.
In other words, cloning is the action and effect of cloning. The word comes from the Greek klon , which means ‘shoot’ or ‘shoot’. As can be seen, this term used to refer to the technique of reproducing a plant using segments, bulbs or shoots.
In 1903 the American plant physiologist Herbert J. Webber coined the term clone in the broad sense, which was initially used in the area of agriculture.
Cloning occurs naturally in some plants and in single-cell cells like bacteria. In humans, identical twins are considered natural clones since they share the same DNA. Outside of the latter case, cloning is a scientific process and, as such, pursues a number of broader purposes than the reproduction of identical individuals.
Cloning applied to the human organism aims to cure diseases and / or replace damaged cells by isolating and culturing stem cells, which originate most of the tissues of the human organism (including the heart, skin and nervous tissue. ). It is included within the therapeutic cloning.
Types of cloning
In the field of genetics, biotechnology deals with the three existing types of cloning: therapeutic cloning, reproductive cloning and gene cloning.
- Therapeutic cloning: The production of germ cells (which form when the egg and sperm come together) through stem cells to replace damaged cells. The creation of embryonic stem cells is also called regenerative medicine.
- Reproductive cloning: production of genetically equal copies of animals. Embryo transfer is a method of assisted reproduction where embryos are removed from an animal to be implanted in surrogate bellies.
- Gene cloning: copy of genes or pieces of DNA.
Cloning Dolly the sheep
In 1996 Dolly the sheep was born, the first mammal born from the cloning of an adult cell. The cell was fused by electricity into a donated egg. Dolly the Sheep lived for six years and its creators, Scots Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell, worked for the Edinburgh Roslin Institute.
This case became a real scandal and has been the subject of countless discussions in the field of bioethics.
Cloning and bioethics
Bioethics has broadly addressed the discussion of cloning and its ethical and moral implications, especially regarding human cloning.
Religions tend to ask for limits and precaution in the practice of cloning, when they do not reject it outright, since this involves deliberate genetic intervention, with unsuspected consequences and / or ends.
Some fear that cloning will become an instrument of natural deformation with dire consequences for biological balance; Others fear that it will generate aberrant practices, and become an instrument of control and social power.
This concern, in fact, has been popularized by science fiction. The most famous case is the book A happy world by Aldous Huxley, where cloning is called the Bokanovsky method.
For their part, scientists argue that whenever it is used for therapeutic purposes in the treatment of diseases, including infertility, cloning is good and necessary even in the salvation of certain species.
Card cloning is an illegal act (properly a crime) in which a credit card or debit card is replicated, in order to steal the available balance through direct purchases or withdrawal of cash from ATMs.