Cloning is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually.
Clones are organisms that are exact genetic copies. Every single bit of their DNA(Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is identical. Cloning is commonly used to amplify DNA fragments containing whole genes, but it can also be used to amplify any DNA sequence such as promoters, non-coding sequences and randomly fragmented DNA. It is used in a wide array of biological experiments and practical applications ranging from genetic fingerprinting to large scale protein production.
CLONING A GENE (Artificial)
When scientists clone an organism, they are making an exact genetic copy of the whole organism.
When scientists clone a gene, they isolate and make exact copies of just one of an organism’s genes. Cloning a gene usually involves copying the DNA sequence of that gene into a smaller, more easily manipulated piece of DNA, such as a plasmid.
Some researchers are looking at cloning as a way to create stem cells that are genetically identical to an individual. These cells could then be used for medical purposes, possibly even for growing whole organs. And stem cells cloned from someone with a disease could be grown in culture and studied to help researchers understand the disease and develop treatments.
Cloning can also occur Naturally;
some plants and single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, produce genetically identical offspring through a process called asexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, a new individual is generated from a copy of a single cell from the parent organism.
Natural clones, also known as identical twins, occur in humans and other mammals. These twins are produced when a fertilized egg splits, creating two or more embryos that carry almost identical DNA. Identical twins have nearly the same genetic makeup as each other, but they are genetically different from either parent.
KEY NOTE: In 2013, scientists at Oregon Health and Science University were the first to use cloning techniques to successfully create human embryonic stem cells. The donor DNA came from an 8-month-old with a rare genetic disease.