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A woman is facing an identical version of herself. In between, there is a picture of an illuminated test tube.

Reproductive cloning means creating a genetic duplicate of an existing organism. A human clone would be a genetic duplicate of an existing person.

Genes are strings of chemicals that help create the proteins that make up your body. Genes are found in long coiled chains called chromosomes. They are located in the nuclei of the cells in your body.

Gene basics

In sexual reproduction, a child gets half its genes from its mother (in her egg) and half from its father (in his sperm):

Sexual Reproduction

This combination of genes is a fundamental basis for human variation and diversity.

In the case of clonal reproduction, all of the cloned child's genes would come from a body cell of a single individual:

Asexual Reproduction

The best known cloning technique, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), is shown above. The nucleus from a body cell is put into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed. The resulting entity is triggered by chemicals or electricity to begin developing into an embryo. If that embryo were placed into a woman's uterus and brought to term, it would develop into...