The cloning process is taking cells from an individual and replicating genes or DNA. In the process of cloning the gene is entered in the plasmid, which is a piece of the DNA (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). There are four steps into the cloning process (Eric J. Simon, 2016). The steps are as follow;
- Put the gene in the plasmid and restricting the enzymes
- Add plasmid into bacteria
- Make more protein, harvest and purify protein (protein production)
- Uses of DNA cloning
The first step is by restricting the enzymes, which causes DNA ends to have short and stranded overhangs (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). If overhangs match, they will form a pair and stick together (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). Then the second process would be adding plasmid into bacteria, which consists of heat shock to bacterial cells which encourages the cells to take foreign DNA (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). Bacteria without plasmid will not survive and will die (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). The third process is protein production where plasmid-bearing bacteria triggers chemicals acts as a protein factory and purify them into producing large amounts of protein (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). Finally, the uses of DNA cloning, which is used as a multipurpose in molecular biology such as;
- Gene therapy
- Gene analysis (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019).
There are advantages and disadvantages of cloning, the advantages in human gene therapy (Overview: DNA cloning, 2019). Human gene therapy is where diseases are treated by providing new genes, which replaces or supplements the defective gene (Eric J. Simon, 2016). Once disease that cured around 22 children between the years of 2000-2011, was severe combined immunodeficiency (Eric J. Simon, 2016). These patients would have ended up dying from this disease without treatment (Eric J. Simon, 2016). Another advantage, which is like treatment of a disease, but it increases life expectancy for the human race (Ayres, 2019) The disadvantage of cloning could be the loss of diversity of genes and could cause an imbalance to society (Ayres, 2019).
Cloning and genetically modified organisms are two ways biology is used to produce organisms that are needed (Lanka, 2018). Cloning is a creation of cells which are genetically identical to the originals (Lanka, 2018). Cloning maintains characteristics of organisms over time (Lanka, 2018). Genetic engineering is an alteration in DNA to be able to create new organisms by adding or taking away genes (Lanka, 2018). The similarities that they both have are they create valuable organisms, production of hormones and pharmaceutical products (Lanka, 2018). Plants, food and drug production is the most commonly used production of genetically modified organisms (Theresa Phillips, 2008). One of the most highlighted dangers would be exposure to new allergens and antibiotic resistance gene’s (Theresa Phillips, 2008). This causes a danger because humans become allergic to GMO foods. Then when dealing with antibiotic resistance once they body catches an infection, they are unable to fight the infections naturally and when given antibiotics the body fights the medication which causes the infection to continue within the body.
Gene therapy as mentioned before at the beginning gene therapy is very helpful to those 22 children with severe combined immunodeficiency. Gene therapy can help those with non-life-threatening illnesses to be able to get relief and possibly fertility issues. Gene therapy has promising outcome for our future, however right now there is little evidence and little research done so far (Eric J. Simon, 2016). It provides those with no hope at a future and now they are planning their future.
- Ayres, C. (2019). 11 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning. Retrieved from Vittana: https://vittana.org/11-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-cloning
- Eric J. Simon, J. L. (2016). Campbell Essential Biology with physiology 5th edition. Pearson Learning.
- Lanka. (2018, 02 26). Difference Between Cloning and Genetic Engineering. Retrieved from PEDIAA: https://pediaa.com/difference-between-cloning-and-genetic-engineering/
- Overview: DNA cloning. (2019). Retrieved from Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/biotech-dna-technology/dna-cloning-tutorial/a/overview-dna-cloning
- Theresa Phillips, P. (2008). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA Technology. Retrieved from Scitable: https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/genetically-modified-organisms-gmos-transgenic-crops-and-732