A clone is a genetic copy of a plant or animal, so the genes of the clone are identical to the genes of the original. Clones are common in plants, and can be obtained by taking cuttings. To make an animal clone two cells are used: an unfertilized egg cell and a donor cell often from the skin of an adult. The chromosomes are removed from the egg cell and replaced by the chromosomes taken from the donor. The egg cell is then given an electric shock, which starts it dividing. It is then implanted in a surrogate mother. When the baby is born it is an exact genetic copy of the donor adult.
Benefits of Cloning
There are many possible uses of cloning. It is a way of rapidly and accurately making animals which have useful features. This is the reason that cloning in plants has been so widely used.
Dangers of Cloning
Some selfish and power hungry humans might want to make clones of themselves, believing that they are so much better than other people. They might also think that genetically identical people would think alike, so having advantages over other people. It is unlikely that human clones, if they grew up, would benefit each other. One of the ways that living things evolve is by combining genes from two parents in new combinations. Human clones would harm human evolution and would be a political and cultural disaster. Most governments in the world have banned human cloning experiments.
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