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Chapter 36 : Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning

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Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Biotechnology began generating public discussion and debate about issues raised by its possible applications at the earliest stages of research, 10 years before any products had been developed. The debate about the potential societal impacts of modern biotechnology has continued unabated throughout its development. This chapter provides an approach and process for analyzing biotechnology-related issues so that one can contribute constructively to the public discourse on biotechnology and make informed decisions that are in ones best interest. The chapter states some critical steps in objectively evaluating societal issues associated with applications of biotechnology. It discusses the formal risk assessment process in detail. Finally, in discussing the risks of any technology, one has to keep in mind that technologies may be used wisely or unwisely, for good or for bad. The issue of animal cloning presents an opportunity to use the strategy to analyze an emotionally charged societal issue raised by a scientific breakthrough related to biotechnology development. The discussion is not meant to be a comprehensive treatment of the issues involved with animal cloning but is included to give one an example of some of the requisite steps in a rational treatment of the issue. If one is interested in extending this discussion to the question of cloning humans, it is essential to make a clear distinction between cloning cells taken from an embryo that is only a few days old and cloning to make babies (reproductive cloning).

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36

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Figures

Image of Figure 36.1
Figure 36.1

Cloning is the creation of genetically identical copies. Livestock breeders have used this form of cloning for approximately 20 to 25 years. A fertilized egg is allowed to develop to the two- or four-cell stage and is divided into single cells. Each cell gives rise to an offspring that is genetically identical to the others.

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
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Image of Figure 36.2
Figure 36.2

Enucleation of eggs. Working at a microscope that is hooked to a computer monitor or television screen, scientists hold the egg steady with a pipette and then insert a much smaller pipette into the egg to withdraw the nucleus. (Photographs courtesy of Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland.)

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
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Image of Figure 36.3
Figure 36.3

Embryo splitting. At early stages of development, scientists use microsurgical blades to separate livestock embryos into separate cells. (Photograph courtesy of George Seidel, Colorado State University.)

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
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Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 36.4
Figure 36.4

Nuclear transfer. (A) Nuclei have been removed from either somatic or embryonic cells. (B) Note the nucleus in the small pipette. Each nucleus is injected into a separate enucleated egg cell. (C) The newly inserted nucleus is barely visible between the egg cell membrane and the cellular cytoplasm. A small tear in the cell membrane indicates the site where the pipette was inserted. (Photographs courtesy of Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland.)

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 36.5
Figure 36.5

Somatic cell nuclear transfer. Dolly was produced by a unique type of cloning. The nucleus in a fully differentiated somatic cell from breed A's udder was inserted into the enucleated egg of breed B by fusing the two cells. The resulting egg contained breed A's nuclear genetic material and mitochondrial DNA from breeds A and B. The egg developed into a blastula in tissue culture, and the blastula was inserted into the uterus of sheep C, the surrogate mother of Dolly. Note that Dolly's coloring is identical to that of female A, her genetic mother, and does not exhibit any markings of either her surrogate mother or breed B.

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 36.6
Figure 36.6

Human blastocyst. A fertilized egg develops into a blastocyst in approximately 4 to 5 days, whether it is in cell culture or the female reproductive tract. (Photograph courtesy of Michael Vernon, West Virginia Center of Reproductive Medicine.)

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Analyzing the Issues of Biotechnology: Cloning, p 341-355. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch36
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint

References

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