Is cloning an organism the same as cloning a gene?
You’ve heard about cloning animals - sheep, mice, even house pets - in the news. From time to time, you may have also heard about researchers cloning, or identifying, genes that are responsible for various medical conditions or traits.
What is the difference?
Cloning an animal, or any other organism, refers to making an exact genetic copy of that organism. The techniques used to clone organisms are described on this page.
Cloning a gene means isolating an exact copy of a single gene from the entire genome of an organism. Usually this involves copying the DNA sequence of that gene into a smaller, more accessible piece of DNA, such as a plasmid. This makes it easier to study the function of the individual gene in the laboratory.