Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Information » Environment » People » Cloning and Genetics


  • Every living thing is made up of genes. Genes make up who we are, from the colour of our eyes to the diseases that may affect us

  • Genes are made of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), a substance which is found in every cell in the body. Genes tell the cells what to do to make the body work

  • Cells and genes are very small and can only be seen under a powerful microscope

  • Human beings have thousands of genes and each one determines a different function of our bodies. Although all humans have the same genes, we each have a unique DNA code which makes us who we are

  • We share 98 per cent of our genes with chimpanzees, 92 per cent with mice and nearly 44 per cent with fruit flies. This shows how small differences in genes can make very different living things

  • Some human diseases such as cystic fibrosis are determined by genes. Scientists are studying these genes to find out if it is possible to prevent genetic diseases

  • There are arguments for and against genetic research. Some people think that we should not interfere with our genes and we shouldn't attempt to control what we are made up of. Others believe that this is an important step towards preventing disease and illness


  • A clone is an identical genetic copy of a living thing. Clones already exist in nature. Many plants are clones and, in humans, identical twins are clones

  • In recent years scientists have discovered how to make clones artificially in laboratories

  • Cloning is a very controversial topic. Some people think it is wrong to alter the way life would occur in nature

  • In July 1996, the first cloned mammal was born - Dolly the sheep. Since then scientists have cloned horses, monkeys and bulls. A pet cat has even been cloned

  • Scientists use cloning to aid medical research and it forms an area of major scientific study

  • This is still a very new science and there are safety and technical issues as well as moral and ethical arguments about cloning

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.