Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
Cloning is the process of making identical copies of an organism, cell, or DNA sequence. Molecular cloning is a process by which scientists amplify a desired DNA sequence. The target sequence is isolated, inserted into another DNA molecule (known as a vector), and introduced into a suitable host cell. Then, each time the host cell divides, it replicates the foreign DNA sequence along with its own DNA. Cloning also can refer to asexual reproduction.
Cloning is a word we use to describe a molecular process of making millions or billions of copies of a single molecule. It's different from the uses of the terms "cellular cloning" or "organism cloning" that are used in the reproductive genetics universe. We use molecular cloning to amplify, or make many copies of, genes or proteins or other micro molecules that amplifies the signal and allows us to study these molecules in a laboratory.
Name: Leslie G. Biesecker, M.D.
Occupation: Chief and Senior Investigator, Genetic Disease Research Branch; Head, Human Development Section and Physician Scientist Development Program
Biography: Dr. Biesecker's research focuses on the clinical and molecular delineation of human malformation syndromes. Currently, his laboratory is working on two classes of disorders, classic multiple congenital anomaly syndromes and segmental overgrowth disorders. The goals of his research program are to improve the medical care of patients affected by these disorders, provide generalized knowledge about the broad field of birth defects, and better understand basic mechanisms of normal and abnormal human development. Dr. Biesecker's group studies several multiple congenital anomaly syndromes, including Pallister-Hall syndrome, McKusick-Kaufman syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Lenz microphthalmia syndrome.