DNA Day experts answer your questions about cloning animals

Above: Image © 3268zauber, Wikimedia Commons

Why are clones more volatile than animals that are not cloned?

I think these technologies are emerging and we still don't know how these processes work. therefore there have been significant issues with bringing these technologies to the mainstream. Also public concern has slowed the progression of advancing these technologies. Most of what we consider cloning (or from my understanding) is genetic material from one animal is placed into the cell of another animal.

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac

Would a cloned animal have ALL of the recessive genetic diseases that wouldn't be showing?

A cloned animal would have identical genetics to the animal that the cloned cell was derived from including any "defective" genetics. Also note that the process of cloning is not perfect and could cause genetic abnormalities that are not shown in the ancestor of the clone.

- Answer provided by Dr. Gijs Van Rooijen

We used to hear so much about cloning, e.g. Dolly, and recently there has been legislation created to regulate the consumption of cloned livestock. What is the future of this framework? What are some debates that might arise from this?

From the stand point of cloning being a technique, there is recognition that once it became a reliable way of "breeding" or "replicating" animals with certain traits that are highly valued without, then regulators would look to see if the resulting animals were as safe for consumption as animals breeded through other techniques. I do suspect that regulators will scrutinize the evidence about safety, but may not find evidence of harm.

- Answer provided by Karine Morin


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