Science and Sue (#2)
Mammals cloned from goo?
How does cloning work? Cloning is the process of making an exact copy of an animal. Basically, the genetic material (DNA) from an animal is extracted from one cell and then placed into a new cell. The DNA in the new cell makes the new cell grow an exact copy of the original animal. Simple, right?
The problem is… it’s really complex. To make a clone, or an exact copy of an animal, a scientist will extract DNA from one single cell of the animal. The DNA is then placed into an ovum (female’s egg cell). But the DNA in the donor mother’s ovum must be removed in order to put the other DNA into it. Once the new DNA is in the donor ovum, the fertilized ovum is placed back into the host mother’s body to grow like a regular new baby. Once the baby is born, it’s an exact copy of the original animal. But there are so many ways in which the cloning process can fail. The DNA must be pure. There can be no DNA left in the original ovum. And the cell must take hold and grow in the mother. (This is a simplification of the process, but you get the idea.) The odds of being successful are extremely low. To date, I believe the most complex animal that has been cloned to date has been a sheep–Dolly. Humans are too complex to be cloned.
So how are people cloned in my Sue books? The Goo! It’s alien! The substance came from an alien species on a dead planet. The doomed beings living on the dying planet specifically engineered it to have all the properties to overcome potential problems and successfully clone an animal when it comes in contact with the DNA from the animal. (Hey, it’s science FICTION.) They then sent the substance to planets all over the galaxy.
Why? The goo contained a message, the memory of the soon-to-be (or newly) extinct species and a warning for the inhabitants of other planets. And… the goo made a few modifications to the clones it created; adaptations that help them survive on a changing or dying planet. What adaptations? To find out more about these adaptations, you’ll have to read my books.