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Cloning

About Cloning

The first-ever cloned cat, "CC," is shown here at seven weeks old with Allie, her surrogate mother.

Cloning refers to the process of producing multiple individual organisms with identical genes, which may occur naturally or artificially. A gene is the basic biological unit that determines an organism's characteristics. Genes are made up of even smaller molecules called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that carry and replicate genetic information.

Cloning occurs as a natural outcome of biological reproduction. Some bacteria and plants reproduce asexually—that is, there is no mixing of genetic material from multiple parent organisms. Instead, these organisms reproduce by creating genetically identical copies, or clones, of themselves. Identical twins, or two separate offspring resulting from a single fertilized egg, are considered clones of one another but not of their parent organisms.

Clones can also be created artificially...  (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Should cloning of humans be permitted?
  • What are the potential benefits and risks of cloning?
  • What are the ethical controversies surrounding cloning?
  • What are the social and cultural impacts of cloning?
  • Will clones really be physically and behaviorally identical?
  • If human cloning is allowed, what type of legislation might be enacted to control it?
  • Do any laws currently exist which address the issue of cloning?