When you think of cloning, what images come to mind?
The first cloned mammal, Dolly, the sheep, perhaps? An army of alien clones? Maybe some weird mutant animal?
The truth is, cloning is not the scary, science fiction process that is often portrayed in books and the media. In fact, in the laboratory setting, it rarely involves cloning an entire organism!
Did you know that it is possible to clone individual components from an organism? No, not hands, an ear, or a leg, but CELLULAR components!
Molecular Cloning, which is what scientists use to manipulate cells, invovles cloning within a cell, often beginning with the cloning of a single gene!
It is important to note, however, that the term "cloning" does not necessarily mean creating copies of a gene or other cellular component. Molecular cloning can also mean changing a gene within a sequence of DNA and then replicating it.
To learn more about how Molecular Cloning works, please click the blue arrow.