Cloning in the Modern Age by sam garnett

Cloning is commonly associated with science fiction, but it isn't only fiction anymore. The beginnings of cloning lie in 5000 B.C., where early humans figured out that they could improve their corn crop by planting seeds from the best plants. This knowledge of gene inheritance wasn't made official until Gregor Mendel published his book, Experiments in Plant Hybridization, in 1866.

The next step towards cloning occurred in 1869, when Johann Friedrick Miescher extracted DNA for the first time out of the nuclei of a white blood cell. Then, in 1902, Walter Sutton proved that chromosomes held genetic information.

Later that year, Hans Spemann divided a salamander embryo in two to show that even early forms of organisms retain genetic information. This was the first time the natural cloning that produces identical twins, triplets, etc. was officially showcased.

One year later, the term clon was coined by Herbert Webber of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, which later turns into clone.

Herbert Webber's Definition of Clone - Any group of cells or organisms produced asexually from a single sexually produced ancestor.

In 1938, Hans Spemann proposed the idea of moving the nucleus of one organism to an egg with a nucleus. This process is the beginning of what would one day become the actual cloning process.

In 1952, Briggs and King clone frogs via nuclear transfer. Although this was successful, for 40 years, scientists would doubt the idea of cloning "higher animals" using adult cells. The possibility of this was only accepted after F.C. Steward cloned a carrot plant from root cells in 1958. The first successful animal clone using adult cells was done by John Gurdon, when he cloned a frog using differentiated adult cells in 1962.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that human-made organisms were patent-able material. Then, in 1984, Steen Willadsen made a genetic copy of a lamb from young sheep embryos. This process would become twinning and would be used to twin cattle, pigs, goats, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys.

This is Dolly the Sheep, the first animal to be cloned from adult animal cells. This staggering 1996 event inspired many similar clonings to happen within the next few years. In 1967, a mouse, a cow, a rhesus monkey were all cloned by various institutions. There was even another sheep named Polly, which had a human gene in all of its cells.

However, as the world of animal cloning was thriving, progress in human cloning was getting off to a rocky start. Bill Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission ruled that it was unethical and unsafe. This conclusion led him to issue a moratorium (temporary prohibition) on it using federal funds.

In 1999, the first male clone, Fibro, was created in University of Hawaii. Then, in 2000, in Britain, the Geron Corporation received the first patent on early-stage cloned human embryos. These embryos were not complete until 2001. However, they were to be used for stem-cell harvesting and research, rather than reproduction.

In 2004, Britain announced the world's first stem cell bank is announced which could be used to recreate organs for people with malfunctioning one.

By 2005, sheep, pigs, cows, oxen, mice, domestic cats & dogs, frogs, goats, wolves, mules, horses, deer, and African wildcats had all been cloned. In fact, that year, two unrelated clones of African wildcats reproduced marking the first instance in which clones had reproduced.

2009 is the first instance where an extinct animal is cloned: Pyrenean ibex, a subspecies of the Spanish ibex. 2009 also brought the world its first cloned camel (from a dead one) in Dubai, India. This showed the world that it was possible to "bring animals back to life."

The first's first transgenic cow was created in an Argentinian lab in 2011. This strange cow is capable of producing human (breast) milk.

Most recently, in 2016, teams of scientists in the U.S., Germany, Italy, and Japan, made a clone of white rhino embryos as there are only two left on earth.



- It could eliminate defective genes

- It could aid in injury recovery

- It could eliminate infirtility

- It could cure many disorders


- It risks the possibility of faster aging

- It conflicts with nature

- It goes against religious principles

- It devalues human life

- It could be exploited

Even though cloning has been developing for many years, it is still a relatively new concept that we are still learning about. It is important to form your on opinion so that you are ready for the future.


Cloning Milestones. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2017, from

H. (2015, October 15). 16 Important Pros and Cons of Cloning Humans. Retrieved February 08, 2017, from

Historical Cloning Timeline [PDF]. (n.d.). from

Created By
Student Samuel Garnett

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