Q:

What is gene cloning?

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Quick Answer

Gene cloning occurs when a specific gene from a strand of DNA has been extracted and copied from an organism. Nearly any tissue source can be used for cloning, as long as there is not widespread degradation. DNA can also be extracted from RNA using a process called reverse transcription.

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What is gene cloning?
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Full Answer

Genes are made from DNA and contain the basic building blocks of heredity. When a gene is cloned, an exact replica is produced. The process requires a variety of biotechnical techniques.

A basic explanation of the process of cloning a gene:

  • Step 1: Extract the DNA from the organism that contains the desired gene. Using restriction enzymes, the DNA is cut into gene-sized pieces.
  • Step 2: Restriction enzymes are used to cut the bacterial plasmids, which are the small circles of DNA that are located within bacteria cells that occur naturally.
  • Step 3: The plasmids and cut DNA are combined together in a test tube where some will combine to form a new combination of DNA.
  • Step 4: The new combinations are transferred into bacteria using a process called heat shock.
  • Step 5: This bacteria is transferred to culture dishes and allowed to produce colonies called gene libraries.
  • Step 6: The gene library is studied to see if the bacteria is reproducing the desired gene. The longer the bacteria is allowed to multiply, the easier it is to locate the specific gene.
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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the risks of cloning?

    A:

    Dangers associated with cloning include a chance of developmental issues arising later in life, a low success rate, which necessitates time-consuming and cost-intensive repeat cloning attempts, gene abnormalities and differences in chromosome lengths and patterns. Cloning occurs in many living organisms; some cloned species develop normally while others show abnormalities at birth or later in life.

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  • Q:

    What is gene splicing?

    A:

    Gene splicing is a technique used in genetic engineering where the DNA of a living thing is edited, in some cases replacing existing genes with genes taken from another plant or animal. Enzymes are used to cut the DNA strand and remove a piece, which can then be replaced with new information. This can transfer characteristics from one species to another or give an organism entirely new characteristics.

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  • Q:

    What is therapeutic cloning?

    A:

    The National Institutes of Health defines therapeutic cloning as cloning an embryo only for the purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. Therapeutic cloning aims to create stem cells for the express purpose of experiments so that researchers gain a better understanding of disease and work to develop effective treatments for diseases in humans.

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  • Q:

    How many types of cloning are there?

    A:

    There are three types of cloning that are mainly used: reproductive, therapeutic and DNA. Cloning is the process of producing a genetically identical organisms that exists in nature.

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