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ZingPath: Genetics and Biotechnology


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Genetics and Biotechnology

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You get to discover important details about modern biotechnology, from the human genome project and cloning to how to interpret DNA fingerprints and paternity tests.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define cloning.
  • Explain the cloning process.
  • List difficulties with cloning.
  • Give examples of possible advantages of cloning.
  • Give examples of possible disadvantages of cloning.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What kind of animal did Scottish scientists successfully clone in 1997?

~ A group of Scottish scientists successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly in 1997.

What made Dolly unique among other previously cloned animals?

~ Dolly was unique among other previously cloned animals because she was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.

How did the process of cloning Dolly work?

~ The process of cloning Dolly began when scientists extracted mammary cells from a sheep. These extracted cells were then placed in a nutrient-deficient solution that prevented them from further dividing. Scientists then extracted an egg cell from another sheep and removed its nucleus. The egg cell and a mammary cell were then fused together with an electric shock. This reinitialized the process of cell division. After allowing these dividing cells to develop for a time in vitro, scientists implanted them into a surrogate sheep's uterus. Finally, after a normal period of gestation, Dolly was born.

What are some of the possible advantages and disadvantages of cloning?

~ Cloning has many possible advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, cloning could be used to copy transgenic animals, increase the populations of endangered species, and make donor organs more readily available for patients in need of a transplant. On the negative side, cloning can hinder genetic diversity, which may lead to genetic defects and an assortment of other health problems. Also most cloned animals have died prematurely due to being oversized, developing immune disorders, or other developmental problems.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define the following terms: asexual reproduction, bioethics, and biology.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary asexual reproduction, bioethics, biology