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Biology in the Laboratory

Cloning

Do cloned animals look identical to the original and other offspring?

No, contrary to popular science fiction stories, cloned animals do not look like the original donor of the mature cells or their identical clones. As with most people—even human twins—the environment plays an important role in how an organism looks. For example, in 2001, the first cloned cat was born, called Cc, or Carbon Copy or CopyCat—from a genetic donor named Rainbow, but put into a “surrogate mother” that was a female tabby (Cc was the only one of eighty-seven embryos in the experiment that was successful). The resulting cat looks very different from Rainbow or her surrogate mother. This difference is due to the fact that the color and pattern of cat coats are not attributed exclusively to genes, and in this case, the cloning process also “changed” the cat’s color and pattern. In 2006, Cc became the first cloned cat that had ever given birth to kittens.



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