General Information on DNA and Cloning

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DNA and Cloning

Not once you have heard of scientists talking about DNA structures and DNA mutation. Surely, you have wondered what DNA is? DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and it is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and the functioning of all living organisms. The DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. Along with RNA and proteins, DNA is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all the known forms of life.

From the early stages of medical development, doctors have always asked themselves what DNA is and what is its role in human development. DNA was first discovered in 1869 in the pus of discarded surgical bandages, by physician Friedrich Miescher. Later on, in 1919, Phoebus Levene identified the base, sugar, and phosphate nucleotide unit. Levene also asked himself what DNA is, and later discovered that DNA consisted of a string of nucleotide units linked together through the phosphate groups.

People have always wondered what DNA is and what is the mechanism behind the cloning process. DNA cloning in biotechnology refers to the process used to create copies of DNA fragments, cells, or organisms. There is another branch of cloning, called therapeutic cloning. This type of DNA cloning is achieved by creating embryonic stem cells in the hopes of treating diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. In the case of someone with Alzheimer’s, the nucleus from a skin cell of that patient is placed in an empty egg.

The reprogrammed cell begins to develop into an embryo because the egg reacts with the transferred nucleus. Thus, the embryo will become genetically identical to the patient. People also ask themselves what is DNA and the implications of cloning in humans. The process of human cloning is similar to the one of the animals, with the difference that the human clone will be the same. Of course, human cloning is regarded as controversial, since many governmental, religious, and scientific communities have made efforts to halt the human DNA cloning process.

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