If you could clone an animal, would you? WIth all of the advancements being made in technology, it’s only a matter of time until we will all be able to clone our furry friends. But what is the process of animal cloning?
First, let’s start with how animals reproduce. All animals, just like people, have a set of chromosomes. All humans have 23 chromosomes, while the number of chromosomes found in animals can vary.
When animals reproduce, the offspring receive one set of chromosomes from both their mother and their father. Just like with humans, parents have no control over which traits their offspring will receive. So now that we know more about the reproductive process, what does this have to do with cloning? Well, that’s ultimately what cloning is trying to achieve; it is supposed to control the reproductive process and eliminate all of the randomness. Whatever genes you want, you can get.
This process is extremely invited for people that breed animals for show (i.e. dogs, horses, cattle, etc). It can also be great to save specific endangered species. Cloning can have its benefits, but there are still quite a few kinks that need to be worked out.
Cloning is an extremely delicate procedure and there is a ton of room for error. Sometimes the cloning process works while other times it doesn’t. It can take over a hundred tries to get one “cloned” embryo to develop inside of its host mother.
Additionally, cloned animals have a pretty grim track record. Scientists have yet to figure it out, but when cloned animals are created or “born,” they seem to mimic the physical makeup of a premature baby — their organs are vastly underdeveloped or their hearts don’t beat correctly and a variety of other factors. Because of this, many clones die significantly earlier than their “identical” counterparts.
So — if you could clone your furry best friend, would you?