Biology Lab Paper

  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1073
  • Grade: 100

The world is losing many species of plants and animals at an alarming rate. In California alone the difference between the present and 200 years ago is strikingly apparent. In the coastal mountains from Eureka to Los Angeles where hundreds of majestic California Condors used to soar, now there are less than a dozen in the wild. In the marshes of the Central Valley vast herds of Tulle Elk used to graze, but no more, their numbers have also been depleted. The trout and salmon in California's rivers and streams have also been extirpated or depleted in many areas. And everywhere in California along the pacific flyway there are only remnant populations of waterfowl where they once used to darken the sky and fill the air with the sound of thunder as they passed overhead. In order to reverse this depressing trend, or at least prevent the loss of certain endangered species, some have suggested that we clone them, but is that solution as simple as it seems?
        After reading "Cloning Noah's Ark" written by Robert P. Lanza, Betsy L. Dresser, and Philip Damiani which was published in Scientific American magazine I have much more knowledge about the cloning process and what scientists are now doing to clone endangered species. Advancements in cloning are helping the endangered species of our world. Currently the scientists are awaiting the birth of a gaur. A gaur is an ox-like member of the bovine family. By cloning animals preserved body cells, scientists can keep genes of that animal alive and try to save the species. While cloning technology will not clone all endangered species it does offer a chance to save some. The process is very simple to explain, a lot more difficult to actually do. A

needle jabs through the protective layer surrounding the egg that just hours ago was inside a living ovary. In one movement a researcher uses it to suck out the nucleus of the egg (this is what contains most of the genetic material) this leaves behind a sac of gel (cytoplasm). The next step is to use a second needle to inject another, whole cell under the out layer of the egg. Then an electric switch is turned on which fuses the new cell to the egg (Scientific American). Seems simple enough, but this process must be done many times for the experiment to produce a live clone, as they want. The scientists doing these cloning experiments are very excited about this newfound idea that a species can give to a baby of a different species. This idea in the near future will be used to clone many different endangered species such as the giant panda bear, the cheetah, the ocelot, the bucardo, which is already extinct, and the bongo.
        I believe that it is amazing what these scientists are doing to preserve the endangered species of this world. This is a wonderful idea. These animals make the world such a more beautiful more exciting place. I have been hearing about the decline of the number of giant pandas in China now for countless numbers of years and now to think that that number lower than 1,000 might be finally rising after so long, that is almost unthinkable. Now for generations and generations those children can grow up with the same birds flying high in the sky, the same mammals walking around their zoos, the same species roaming the earth as I did. I think that is phenomenal especially since we have been hearing for so long that they are going to be extinct soon.

In biology lectures and labs I have been learning about genetics for the past couple of weeks. This cloning procedure would allow researchers to introduce genes back into the gene pool (the sum total of all alleles carried in all members of the population). This would help with the diversity of the population. Which will help the genes of that species get past on to their offspring. In cloning the genetic material found in the nucleus of an egg in one female's body is retracted and put into another. This causes a transfer of the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA contains the coded instructions for building different kinds of proteins to clone the organism. DNA is made up of genes and a set of these genes is called a genome. The genes are a sort of "recipe" for the organism.
        Dolly, the first mammal ever cloned, a White Finn Dorset ewe (sheep) was cloned after 276 tries. This is the reason why the success rate of this process is so low. If it can be improved on this could definitely turn out to be useful to increase the population of endangered and hard-to-breed animals. Extinct animals would be more difficult of course. A female can not normally give birth to an animal of a different species but it is not clear yet whether a female of a closely related species could give birth to a clone of a different species. We will find out in a few weeks with the birth of "Noah" approaching.
        Cloning is a very amazing discovery but can also be a frightening one to some people. Should these scientists be "playing God" and be recreating this animals? Who knows. Since cloning has been such a popular subject in science in just the few years

everyone is asking, if you can clone all sorts of animals, even think you can clone a extinct species, could you clone a human? It is probably best to assume that the cloning of humans is not completely impossible. Not many people however favor the idea of cloning people. I believe that the cloning of endangered species and other animals is a good idea however I disagree with anyone who favors the idea of cloning human beings.

Works Cited

Berger, Shelby L. and Kemmel, Alan R. Guide to Molecular Cloning Techniques.
        Orlando, Florida: Academic Press, 1987

Dusheck, Jennie and Tobin, Allan J. Asking about Life: Second Edition. San Diego:
        Harcourt College Publishers, 1999.

Howe, Christopher. Gene Cloning and Manipulation. New York: Cambridge
        University Press, 1995.

Damiani, Philip, Dresser, Betsy L. and Lanza, Robert P. "Cloning Noah's Ark." Scientific American, November 2000: pp 84-89. Online. Available:

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