Your daily dose of Science and Tech

Can you clone a human by using the hair?

In the realm of DNA analysis, including forensic science and genetic research, extracting DNA from hair is a crucial process. Hair is an exceptional source of DNA since it holds nucleated cells that contain genetic material. Nevertheless, DNA extraction from hair can be intricate and difficult. This article will explore the method of extracting DNA from hair.

Hair is made up of two distinct parts, namely the hair shaft and the hair follicle. The hair shaft is the visible part of hair, composed of dead cells that do not contain DNA. In contrast, the hair follicle is the portion of hair embedded in the skin, holding nucleated cells that can be utilized for DNA extraction.

To extract DNA from hair, the initial step involves gathering a hair sample. It is essential to collect the hair sample from the root of the hair located in the hair follicle, as the hair shaft does not contain DNA. Tweezers or forceps may be used to pull out the hair from the root, or a scalpel or scissors may be used to cut the hair as close to the skin as possible.

After obtaining the hair sample, the next step is to break down the cells in the hair follicle to extract the DNA. Typically, a detergent is used to break down the cell membranes and release the DNA from the nucleus of the cell. Then, a series of chemical and physical methods can be used to isolate the DNA.

Can you clone a human by using the hair?

It is not feasible to clone a human using only hair as the source of DNA since hair cells do not contain the complete set of genetic material necessary for human cloning. Although hair contains nucleated cells with genetic material, the DNA within them is often degraded and insufficient for cloning.

Are there any successful experiments in cloning so far?

Successful cloning experiments have been conducted on several animal species, including sheep, cows, cats, dogs, pigs, and horses.

One of the most famous cloning experiments was the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996. Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell using the technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Dolly was created by removing the nucleus of an egg cell and replacing it with the nucleus from a somatic cell of a donor sheep. The reconstructed egg was then stimulated to develop into an embryo and implanted into a surrogate mother sheep. Dolly was born in 1996 and lived for six years.

Other notable cloning experiments include the cloning of a cat named CC (Carbon Copy) in 2001, the cloning of a mule named Idaho Gem in 2003, and the cloning of a dog named Snuppy in 2005.

However, it’s important to note that cloning is still a relatively new technology and has many limitations and ethical concerns that need to be addressed before it can be used widely. There have been no successful human cloning experiments, and human cloning is currently illegal in most countries.

image source: