How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Cloning

1. Baby clones? – Despite several high-profile claims in the past, there is no scientific evidence that anyone has successfully delivered an artificially cloned human being.

2. Stem cell research – Researchers can apply for a licence to clone human embryos for stem cell research. It is illegal, however, for any of those embryos to be implanted into a surrogate mother.

3. Human-animal hybrids – In 2008, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority approved research into ‘cytoplasmic’ hybrids, the transfer of human genetic material into a cow egg cell.

4. Photocopy clones – There is no known technology that can create an instant copy of a living organism. Experiments are intergenerational, meaning the clone will be younger than the original.

5. Clones or twins? – Twins are clones – two organisms that share the same genetic material – but not all clones are twins. If the cloned organisms are born at the same time, then they’re twins.