Cloning and Genetic Engineering

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  • Cloning and Genetic Engineering
    • Cloning
      • Plants
        • Cuttings- from the good plants and plant them to produce genetically identical copies (clones)
          • Cheap and quick
        • Tissue culture- a few plant cells are put into a growth medium with hormones and they grow into new plants (clones of their parent plant)
          • Produced quickly in very little space and be grown all year
      • Animals
        • Sperm cells are taken from the prize bull and egg cells from the prize cow
          • Sperm is then used to artificially fertilise the egg cell
            • The embryo that is developed is then split many times to from clones
              • The impplanted into lots of other cows where they grow into baby calves
                • Hundreds of "ideal" offspring are produced every year
      • Adult Cell Cloning
        • Unfertilised egg and removing the genetic material and then a complete set of chromosomes from an adult body cell is inserted into the 'empty' egg shell
          • Given an electric shock- causes division, implanted into an adult female to grow into a clone
      • Ethical issues- 'ideal' offspring, but you get a 'reduced gene pool', animal clones- understanding of development of the embryo, preserve endangered species, humans may be cloned in the future
    • Genetic Engineering
      • A useful gene is 'cut' from one's organism's chromosome using enzymes. The enzymes are then used to cut another organism's chromosome and then to insert the useful gene
        • Same thing can be used in plants and animals at very early stages
      • Pros
        • Increase yield of a crop
        • GM crops could be engineered to contain nutrients that are missing in diets (developing nations)
      • Cons
        • The growing of GM crops will affect number of weeds and flowers- reduce farmland and biodiversity
        • GM crops may not be safe- allergies
        • Transplanted genes may get out into the natural environment


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