Research updates
Stem cells & therapeutic cloning   page 2
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2. The different types of cloning Link to the Medical Research Council web site
Figure 2. Creeping buttercups.


Where can cloning happen?
Two or more organisms are clones if they are genetically identical. Clones can occur in nature without humans being involved.

When a bacterium reproduces asexually to produce a colony, all the bacteria are clones of one another. Except for any mistakes (mutations) that may have arisen during DNA replication, they will all be genetically identical.

When a plant such as a creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens) reproduces by sending off runners that eventually become detached from the parent plant, the new plants that result and the original parent plant are clones.

Question 1
Are human twins clones? (Remember there are two types of twin).



It is useful to distinguish between various sorts of cloning:

  1. Natural clones
  2. Cloning to propagate plants
  3. Cloning to multiply up farm animals
  4. Cloning adult farm animals
  5. Reproductive cloning of humans
  6. Therapeutic cloning of humans
a. Natural clones
As discussed in the previous paragraph. These arise as a result of asexual reproduction in bacteria, many plants, some animals and even humans (in identical twins, triplets and so on).
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