Lesson Plans

The Clone Age


The Clone Age

Focus Questions and Answers
  1. What difference is there between the first successful cloning experiments of the 1950s and the more recent cloning of Dolly, the sheep?
The early cloning experiments were done with embryonic cells while Dolly was the first successful clone made from adult animal cells.

2. Explain why some people feel that the development of human cloning is like the development of nuclear weapons.
Some feel that cloning, like the development of nuclear weapons, is another example of humans tampering with nature and creating results that may have disastrous consequences.

3. Why would a clone be a good source for a blood, organ, or bone marrow transplant?
A clone would be a good source for transplant materials because the clone would be an exact genetic duplicate, making its blood, organs, and bone marrow unlikely to be rejected by the host body.

4. Describe the cloning process known as nuclear transfer.
Scientists take an egg cell from an adult host animal and remove the cellís nucleus. They then replace the egg cell nucleus with a cell nucleus from a different adult animal. A small electrical charge is used to get the foreign nucleus to join with the egg cell. The egg cell with the transferred nucleus is put into the host animalís reproductive track. The cell now contains all the information needed to develop into an exact genetic replica of the donor animal.

5. What is the benefit of putting human genes into an animalís DNA?
Adding human genes to an animalís DNA can produce animals with traits that benefit human health. For example, a sheep that contains human genes in its DNA can produce milk with human proteins. This milk can then be used as a medicine to treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

6. Would a human clone be an exact duplicate - in every way - of the human it was cloned from? Why or why not?
A human clone would only be genetically the same as the human it was cloned from. Because the clone would be raised in a different environment and develop in a different period of history, it would become a unique individual.

7. Why do you think many world leaders have imposed a ban on human cloning experiments?
World leaders have imposed a ban on human cloning experiments because they are fearful of the technology being used for inhumane purposes.

8. What might be some of the beneficial applications of cloning?
People who can’t reproduce naturally could clone themselves to produce offspring. Animals from endangered species could be cloned to prevent extinction. There would be financial advantages to cloning livestock animals, rather than creating original, genetically altered breeds.

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