Unit 1 - Cloning
Adult cell cloning was first demonstrated in frogs.

Unit 1 - Cloning

In GCSE Biology students will look at cloning - the process by which identical genetic copies can be made of a donor organism. This quiz tests how much they have learned about how cloning is possible.

Plants, single celled organisms and and a few animals (e.g. sea urchin) use asexual reproduction to make exact genetic copies of themselves. These exact copies are called clones. Humans have been cloning plants for centuries by taking cuttings and scientists succeeded in cloning a frog in 1958. This was followed by clones of fish in the 1960s and 1970s but it wasn't until 1997 that the first large animal, a sheep called Dolly, was cloned. Since then, other large animals have also been cloned, including pets. As the technique has been developed, it has been possible to combine cloning with genetic engineering

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There are two main techniques of large animal cloning. The first involves separating the stem cells (cells which have not yet become specialised) of a naturally fertilised embryo and implanting the individual cells into a host mother. The second involves removing the nucleus from an unfertilised egg cell and replacing it with the nucleus from a donor animal.

It would be possible to create human clones in the same way but there are many ethical issues. In your GCSE exam you may be asked to use your scientific knowledge of cloning to discuss the pros and cons of human cloning. If you do get such a question, make sure that you show that you know and understand the issues and offer arguments from both sides.

Now play this quiz all about cloning organisms to see how much you know about surrogates, gametes, enucleating and donors.

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  1. During cloning, what is an electrical current used for?
    When cell division has started, the cloned egg cell can be implanted into the surrogate mother
  2. Cloning is an example of which type of reproduction?
    Cloning always produces individuals who are genetically identical to the donor and each other
  3. Cloning has not been demonstrated in which of the following?
    It is too controversial to do this but there are some speculative fiction films that attempt to deal with this topic
  4. Where is the cloned animal grown?
    Cloning of animals requires that the embryo is grown naturally in the uterus of a female of the species being cloned
  5. Adult cell cloning was first demonstrated in which type of animal?
    This happened in 1958 and was carried out by a scientist called John Gurden at Oxford university
  6. Enucleate means the removal of what?
    The nucleus is removed to make space for the DNA of the donor animal
  7. What is the animal that gives birth to the cloned animal known as?
    The cloned egg cells must be stimulated to grow before they can be placed into the uterus of the surrogate mother
  8. Which gamete cell is needed for cloning?
    It is the egg cell and not the sperm that develops into an embryo after fertilisation so it is not possible to use the sperm cell for cloning
  9. The cloned animal has the same DNA as which of the following?
    The DNA is contained in the nucleus of every cell. Since the donor provides a complete nucleus, the cloned animal will have the same DNA
  10. A special type of cloning splits apart cells from a developing animal. What is this type of cloning called?
    Large numbers of genetically identical offspring, with the desired characteristics, can be produced using embryo transplant cloning

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