Genetic Engineering vs Cloning
Genetic engineering and cloning might sound similar for someone with limited exposure, as there are many considerable differences exhibited between the two. The basic ideas of both genetic engineering and cloning involve the manipulation of genes or genomes as a whole. However, the distinctions would be clearly understood if the actual processes are followed. This article summarizes what is understood in genetic engineering as well as in biological cloning and provides a comparison between the two.
Genetic engineering is a biotechnological application where the DNA or genes of organisms are manipulated according to the requirement. Genetic engineering has been utilizing mainly to benefit the needs of humans. In genetic engineering, an identified gene of other organisms that are responsible for a certain function is isolated, and it is introduced into another organism, let the gene express, and benefit from it.
The introduction of foreign genes into an organism’s genome is performed through the techniques of Recombinant DNA Technology (RDT); the first use of RDT was demonstrated in 1972. The organism to whom the gene has been introduced is called the genetically modified organism. When a certain food is produced through a genetically modified organism, it will be a genetically modified food. Production of food and medicine has been the main practice performed through genetic engineering. In addition, the use of genetic engineering has been starting to benefit the agricultural crops so that there may be an increased immunity against insects or herbicides.
The genetically modified organisms do not have a great chance to survive in the nature unless they are provided with the desired conditions or the scientists continue to manage their population sizes. That is because, the natural selection has not taken place, and natural conditions may be disastrous for the genetically modified organisms.
The term cloning has been used in many fields including computers. However, the cellular cloning, molecular cloning, and organism cloning are more interesting than others are. Cloning is the process by which a genetically identical individual or population of individuals are produced. It is a natural process occurs through asexual reproduction; best examples would be plants, bacteria, and some insects. However, nowadays cloning has been practiced on many other animals through the great advances in biotechnology. Therefore, it has become almost one of the new additions to the science, especially bioscience, yet it existed in nature at very lower organisms.
The importance of cloning is high when a beneficial organism is produced through biotechnology, especially through genetic engineering, for its survival. As an example, a genetically modified high-yielding crop that cannot survive more than one generation in nature must be cloned to make sure its survival in the next generation, and it has to go on until there is no desire to benefit from the plant. The cloning could be made related with immortality of a certain organism, but it is never used to make humans immortal.
What is the difference between Genetic Engineering and Cloning?
• Genetic engineering is an artificial process while cloning is found in both natural and artificial worlds.
• An organism is genetically made-different in genetic engineering, while a genetically identical organism is produced in cloning.
• Cloning techniques are vital for the continued existence of genetic engineering practices but, not the other way around.