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    in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

    Difference Between Cloning and In Vitro Fertilization

    • 18131 views
    • 4.6   (6 Votes)

    Cloning and IVF are two different procedures of fertilizing an egg outside the uterus. In IVF, an egg is fertilized with sperm whereas, in cloning, the nucleus of an unfertilized egg is replaced with DNA of a somatic cell to produce identical individual. Cloning is mostly done for genetic study.

    In this article, we will look at:

    Human cloning and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are two very different reproductive procedures. Some people may argue that they are similar by terming them both as artificial reproduction. There are some similarities in IVF and cloning like artificial insemination and identical lab procedures but the outcomes are completely different.

    1. What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment?

    IVF is simply fertilizing the egg with sperm outside a woman’s body. After fertilization, the embryo is placed inside the woman’s uterus, where it continues to develop naturally. (1) IVF babies take their characteristics from each of the parent’s DNA; therefore, the child has genetic similarities of both the parents. The first human was born in 1978 through IVF. (2). In Vitro Fertilization is performed in a series of procedures used to treat infertility or genetic problems and help with the conception of a child. IVF babies take traits from each of the parent’s DNA rather than just being a copy of the donor.

    2. What is Cloning?

    Cloning has been a highly controversial and artificial process by which the genetic code of an individual is reproduced. It is different and more complex than IVF. They are organisms that have exact genetic copies. (3) The formed clone essentially has the same DNA as the original one. Cloning is performed when the cells enter into their division phase. Cloning is processes that are used to create copies of DNA fragments, cells or organisms. (4)

    In cloning, the nucleus from a healthy egg is removed and replaced with the nucleus from a somatic cell, like skin cells. When the egg is fertilized, the embryo is put back into the womb where it continues to grow. They are individuals with exact genetic copies and every single molecule of their DNA is identical. This offspring is born of a single parent and only carries his or her DNA. Human cloning can also happen naturally, monozygotic or identical twins being an example. In the case of natural cloning, an individual embryo can give rise to one or more new embryos when they fertilize so an individual woman could give rise to one or more clones. (5)

    3. What is Difference Between Cloning and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

    IVF is performed in cases of infertility in men or women or in various other cases as well. Cloning is done to gain information about the nucleotide sequence of the gene or to produce novel compounds. 

    • In IVF, the egg from the mother is obtained and fertilized with the male sperm through the process of insemination. Cloning involved removing the egg from the mother and then fertilizing it by the somatic cell of an individual.
    • IVF is an Assisted Reproduction Technique (ART) that raises a few ethical questions, while cloning is widely regarded beyond moral values.
    • IVF has higher chances of fertilization as it defines the natural system of reproduction. On the other hand, cloning has fewer chances of success due to complex genetic engineering.
    • In almost all the cases, the babies born through IVF treatment are healthy and don't have any deficiencies whereas in 90% of cases of cloning the original embryo is at the risk of being destroyed. Even after successful cloning, a large portion of the remaining 10% cannot make it become a fetus because of health issues.(6)
    • Chances of dizygotic twins or fraternal twins are higher in IVF procedure whereas cloning is particularly done to produce identical. (7)

    a) Genetic Similarity and Human Identity

    An objection often raised to cloning is the effect of genetic similarity. The clone is not the same individual as the individual from whom he or she is cloned. Rather, cloning can be considered as a form of asexual reproduction. In the case of natural twinning, an individual embryo can give rise to one or more new embryos, so an individual adult can give rise to one or more clones. (8) An individual produces a new individual, with a totally separate identity. The physical and mental similarity of two individuals does not make them one and the same individual.

    b) Natural and Artificial Processes

    Artificial embryo twinning is a relatively less efficient way to make clones. As this technique mimics the natural process that creates identical twins. Natural twins form very early in development when the embryo splits in two. Each half of the embryo continues to grow and divide, ultimately developing into separate, complete embryos. This process is artificially performed in the beginning by In Vitro Fertilization procedure. It is carried out in a contained environment in a Petri dish instead of inside the mother. At a very early stage, the embryo is separated into individual cells, which are allowed to divide and develop. After the embryos are fully developed they are then placed into a surrogate mother, where they finish developing. Since all the embryos come from the same fertilized egg, they are genetically and physically identical. (9)

    c) Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT)

    Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is quite a different approach than artificial embryo twinning but produces the same result. This genetic engineering process starts with the removal of the chromosomes from a germ egg to create a host. The chromosomes are replaced with a nucleus taken from a somatic cell of the individual to be cloned. This cell can be obtained directly from the individual, or from frozen tissue. (10)

    4. What is SCNT and Natural Way of Making an Embryo?

    Embryos have two complete sets of chromosomes. The difference between fertilization and SCNT is where the two sets come from.

    • The sperm and egg have one set of chromosomes each in fertilization. When the sperm and egg join, they grow into an embryo forming two sets of chromosomes, one from the father's sperm and one from the mother's egg. (11)
    • In SCNT, the egg cell's single set of chromosomes is removed. The chromosomes from a somatic cell, which already contains two complete sets of chromosomes, replace it. Therefore, in the resulting embryo, both sets of chromosomes come from the same individual. (12)

    Clones are naturally present in the world in form of identical twins but artificial cloning raises too many questions of socio ethical implication. IVF is a much controlled and well-organized process of reproduction. It is performed only in cases of infertility therefore, it has moral acceptance. For more information on such issues and to book a free appointment with a fertility specialist contact OVO Fertility at +918268260808 - OVO Fertility. 

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    6 Comments

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    Rashmi Rautela

    When my sister was not able to give birth to a child, many people suggested her to adopt a baby. However, she did not lose hope and now she is a mother of a cute boy with the help of IVF.

    Nov. 17, 2018, 3:08 p.m. 4.5

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    Simran Ahuja

    IVF has gained a lot of popularity as a successful infertility treatment for childless couples whereas cloning is not practiced normally.

    Nov. 6, 2018, 8:31 a.m. 5.0

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    Komal Sahay

    IVF has now become a very popular and successful infertility treatment. Many couples who face difficulty in having a baby choose this as the best option.

    Nov. 1, 2018, 10:35 a.m. 4.5

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    Punita Malhotra

    I and my husband had tried for three years to conceive naturally, but when we were not able to do so. He said that we should go for IVF. We got success in our second round. Now I am three weeks pregnant and hopefully will become a mother soon.

    Oct. 29, 2018, 12:56 p.m. 4.5

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    Shirish Khanna

    We have gone through many failed infertility treatments in past. We finally got success through IVF. Now after becoming parents I can say that IVF is really a successful treatment.

    Oct. 26, 2018, 4:51 p.m. 4.5

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    Pulish Kodanda

    Science has really advanced that you can make a clone of a person and you can make babies in the lab. I do not know what strange thing can come up in the future.

    Oct. 24, 2018, 6:16 p.m. 4.5

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