Cloning: Definition, types and stemm cell research

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Gymnasium Bielefeld

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2, Prof, 2012

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Text by Luciano Z. ©
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Cloning: Definition, types and stemm cell research

Table of contents:

  1. Definiton of clones

  2. 3 types of cloning

  3. Stem cell research , Definition of Stem cells, iPS cells


What are clones?

-Clones are defined by having identical genetic material. That means their sequence of bases in their DNA is exactly the same. A DNA consists out of 4 bases.

Twins are an example for being clones, because they do have exactly the same DNA.

Another example is a Bacterium. It can clone/ replicate himself and is used in science.

The 3 types of cloning:

It is especially used for one of the 3 types of cloning – the Recombinant DNA Technology


-To make use of this technique, scientists take a DNA fragment containing the gene, they want to clone.

-Then they connect the gene with a cloning vector (transport medium) in the lab.

-They both form a "recombinant DNA molecule."

-Now you introduce it into suitable host cells, in this case a bacterium. As we already heard a bacterium can replicate himself and the gene you want to clone is replicated with.

~The next topic is the Reproductive Cloning, as you already can see in the background Dolly the sheep is cloned by this technique

Dolly the sheep:

Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned. A group of scientist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland cloned the sheep, which was born on 5th July in 1996.

Reproductive Cloning:

So how did they manage it to clone Dolly?

-The Reproductive Cloning process begins by removing the nucleus, which contains the genetic material, from the egg cell.

-Then they used electric shocks to fuse with one egg cell, whose nucleus is removed.

-Now you have “Fused Egg Cell”, which they inserted into a different sheep after cell division has started, the host mother.

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The 3 types of cloning2:

Let’s sum up what we’ve learned other the two cloning process.

-Recombinant DNA Technology means the transfer of a DNA fragment of interest from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element such as a bacterial plasmid.

-And the Reproductive Cloning process starts by the transfer of genetic material to an egg with no nucleus. Then the egg gets stimulated which causes cell division. After that the cloned embryo is transferred to a female host, which carries out the fetus.

~The last type of cloning is Therapeutic Cloning, which is used in research. Therefore you extract stem Cells from embryos, which get destroyed by this process.

Therapeutic Cloning:

-The idea behind this is to use the stem cells to grow genetically matched tissue or even whole organs to replace anything that has been damaged by disease or accident

-But in order to get the versatile stem cells, the embryos they are taken from get destroyed. That means you kill a potential human live. This ethical problem has been discussed all other the world and at the end of the lesson we can also debate on this topic.

Stem cells:

Stem cells contain the genetic material from which we are built and they can turn themselves into any type of cell in the body. But the most versatile, the most useful stem cells, which are called ES cells, are in the embryo. This leads us to the ethical problem, which a Japanese scientist tried to solve.

iPS cells:

In 2007 Shinya Yamanaka discovered iPS cells, which are very close to the stem cells from the embryos. For creating iPS cells, eggs are not needed so no embryo gets destroyed and for the research they are as useful as the stem cells. Another advantage is that they can be produce in an indefinite number.

iPS cells2:

So what can a scientist do with iPS cells?

-iPS cells can be used for stopping a disease by creating iPS cells from patients with genetic diseases, reprogramming them to an iPS cell state, watching which genes go wrong and finding a way to stop the disease in their tracks
-iPS cells can also be used to grow new tissue and organs, which can replace diseased ones.

But it can happen that the body’s immune system attacks the new organs. iPS cells can also be used to modulate the body’s immune system that it doesn’t attack the new organs.
Nevertheless this process of growing matched tissue is very expansive. That it worked shows us an article about a young girl, which we are now going to work on.

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