What is Genetics? : Frequent Questions & Answers

Is it true that scientists have successfully cloned animals?

Scientists have successfully cloned several animals including a cat, dog, pig, and most famously Dolly the sheep. Rainbow was the original cat that was cloned. Her clone, Copy Cat, was born on December 22, 2001. She was the first cloned pet. Cloning was done by taking Rainbow’s DNA and putting inside an embryo that had all its own DNA removed. This embryo was then put inside another cat who carried the pregnancy and gave birth to Copy Cat. Copy Cat is healthy and has even had her own litter of kittens!

An interesting detail is that Copy Cat doesn’t look exactly like her clone Rainbow. Even though clones have the exact same DNA, they don’t always look exactly the same! This is because of complex changes to DNA that can happen before birth caused by the surroundings or by the environment that the embryo is in. Copy Cat was born and grew up in a completely different environment than Rainbow, which has effected the way she looks and acts. To learn more about cloning, please visit The University of Utah Genetic Learning Center: Cloning.