Cloning Genes - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Cloning Genes

Gene cloning, or molecular cloning, has several different meanings to a molecular biologist. A clone is an exact copy, or replica, of something. In the literal sense, cloning a gene means to make many exact copies of a segment of a DNA molecule that encodes a gene. This is in marked contrast to cloning an entire organism—regenerating a genetically identical copy of the organism—which is technically much more difficult (with animals) and can involve ethical ramifications not associated with gene cloning. Molecular biologists exploit the replicative ability of cultured cells to clone genes.

Purposes of Gene Cloning

To study genes in the laboratory, it is necessary to have many copies on hand to use as samples for different experiments. Such experiments include Southern or Northern blots, in which genes labeled with radioactive or fluorescent chemicals are used as probes for detecting specific...

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This section contains 2,396 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Cloning Genes Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Cloning Genes from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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