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Thread: Would a clone of you look exactly the same as you....?

  1. #1 Would a clone of you look exactly the same as you....? 
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    Hi everyone,

    Simple question - if you were cloned, would that clone be the exact spitting image of you?

    And a follow on question - would they develop physically in the same way? For example, losing their hair at the same time?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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  3. #2  
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    It would look alike to the degree that identical twin brothers or sisters look alike. Other than being a different age, of course.

    Indeed, identical twins are exactly the same thing as what clones are.


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  4. #3  
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    Interesting...

    For some reason I thought that not even identical twins had exactly the same DNA (something to do with Mitochondrial DNA(?)) - but I am more than likely wrong/confused!

    Thanks for your reply.
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  5. #4  
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    Hi Rupert,



    Phenotype is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. So, even if a person was cloned and by definition the resulting organism contained an identical genotype to the original individual, there is still scope for differences in the environment(s) in which the clones develop, to affect their physical appearance. Presumably, if the environmental conditions under which clones developed were identical, then the clones would likewise be phenotypically identical. However, such conditions rarely - if ever - occur in Nature. This is precisely why identical twins whom develop under different environmental conditions are not 100% identical in physical appearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tridimity
    So, even if a person was cloned and by definition the resulting organism contained an identical genotype to the original individual, there is still scope for differences in the environment(s) in which the clones develop, to affect their physical appearance. Presumably, if the environmental conditions under which clones developed were identical, then the clones would likewise be phenotypically identical. However, such conditions rarely - if ever - occur in Nature.
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    The cat on the right is a clone of the cat on the left:




    Epigentic reprogramming.
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    Look at it this way. You clone yourself, and you raise your clone as your own child. That clone will be identical to you in all characteristics that are purely genetically determined. Colour of your eyes or hair of facial expression. Hight or weight, on the other hand, are affected by environment so it's likely that your clone will be taller than you, or fatter than you.
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  9. #8 Re: Would a clone of you look exactly the same as you....? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by RupertM
    clone be the exact spitting image of you?
    At least the fingerprints would not be exactly the same, and possibly more as each fetal circumstance (eg, mother's nutrition) can affect development, and random genetic mutations can also occur.
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  10. #9  
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    Look up 'developmental noise,' which causes differences in phenotype despite two individuals being genetically identical.

    Also, even if two individuals have the same genes, can those genes simply be expressed in different ways to some extent?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexP

    Also, even if two individuals have the same genes, can those genes simply be expressed in different ways to some extent?
    Yes, environment effects the phenotype, as mentioned above.


    Interesting thing about cat coat patterns, you get different coat patterns amongst identical females because of lyonization. This phenomena was actually first discovered by looking at coat patterns in mice.
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  12. #11  
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    Thanks i_feel_tiredsleepy, I love Leonard Cohen.

    First of all you would have to assume thatarou strated with a "perfect duplicate" of DNA, since mutations happen this is not a foregone conclusion. Then, there can be an early mutation in embryonic developement. Then there is the Mother's biological imput, which would not be identical. Maybe now she is a drug addict or alcoholic. There is no guarentee that you would even staart at bith as an identical replica.

    Environment plays as large a role as does genetics in our overall make-up. Of course you would be phenotipically very similar, but gene transcription rates would play a huge role in transforming you differently as you grew. You could turn out amazingly different, but similarities would of course remain.

    What if one twin got the proper nutrition, physical and mental support and exersized regularly, while the other grew up malnourished in an abusive family, smoked, and lived a hard life.

    The gene transcription rates would be so dissimilar as to be remakable.

    Let me give you an extreme environmental example. A small girl was once kept in an attic until the age of seven, with virtually no physical interaction, and never learned to speak. After she was found she lived for many years, and never was able to speak in sentences, only single and two or three words strung together. The brain had eliminated these functions early in developement due to them not being necessary.

    Another example, monkeys this time. It has been shown that monkees, removed from their mothers at a young age and not becoming part of another family, turn out to be hostile and bullies. It is believed that this is due to growing up "scared".

    The point being that our brains are wired through our environmental experiences and enhance or devalue pathways necessary for our survival. These can make dramatic changes to our internal biochemistry and physiology. Having the same DNA only predetermines our bodies ability to adapt to these differering conditions, but the distinct conditions of each individual environment is not the same. Even the conditions of identical twins growing up in the same household will mold each clone differently.

    And then there is the facts on accidents, life changing epiphanies, education, girlfriends, diseases, friends, etc that mold our lives and ideas. These things actually cause changes in our biochemistry and subsequent physiology. For example, working out with weights increases testosterone, which makes us more aggressive, self assured, and increases risk-taking.

    At the end of the day, a clone would not be identical, except for the DNA itself. Not even the activity of the DNA would be identical.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    It would look alike to the degree that identical twin brothers or sisters look alike. Other than being a different age, of course.

    Indeed, identical twins are exactly the same thing as what clones are.
    I disagree to the extent that diet has a roll in development. I think the chances of nutrition being different at critical development points are great enough to have an effect. Aren't fingerprints of identical twins different too?

    Maybe it's not a disagreement, but how often do twins have sharply different diets from each other?
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  14. #13  
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    One point that has not been made is the extent to which genetics influences the environment. When identical twins are raised apart, it is found that they tend to seek out similar environmental factors. For example : there is a very strong likelihood that if one twin enters an apprenticeship to become a tradesman, the other twin will do likewise. In ways like this, there is a tendency for both twins to experience similar, though not exactly the same, environments throughout life. This includes social factors, with both twins tending to seek out similar friends and even a similar life partner.

    The end result is that environmental differences are less likely to create phenotypic differences than you might think. It is predictable that something similar would happen with clones. Thus, a person's clone at age 20 will be very similar to that person at the same age, in many profound ways.

    This assumes, of course, that both are raised in pretty much the same society. If one twin was raised in New York and the other in a Bantu mud hut, we would see serious differences. This sort of thing is rare, though.
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    Gentelmen , phenotype is the the distinct feature that is cuased by genes(blue eye is phenotype of its related gene{genotype} in body) and has nothing to do with environment if question is :is your clone is identical to you? answer would be yes they are completley identical even in fingerprint and even in personality(thanks to latest discoveries:a large group of human personality is determined by their genes and is developed under the pressure of environment) ,this is true about personality in twins but not genetically {their fingerprint is different and sometimes they have distinctive features in their face that can be known by that }their face and body is same genetically they are close but not same as each other-by the way someone said something about mitochondria that their genes may differ in clones ,the answer is no even they are same ,they are originated from single cells primitive organisms that came to their multi-cellular host as parasite or looking fo food but now they adopted themselves in new environment accept food from host{our cell}in return they produces energy for themselves and their host they reproduce as bacteria but as one of our organelles their genes are considered as part of our genome.
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  16. #15  
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    Others have made the points I would have - divergence is inevitable, from the 'superficial' fingerprints, freckles, moles to onset of genetically influenced diseases. From knowing some twins I note that as they've aged the visual differences have become more obvious and their personalities and course of their lives have been quite different. And they started out in the same household ie more or less the same environment. But even early on they developed different tastes in food and activities.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nima View Post
    Gentelmen , phenotype is the the distinct feature that is cuased by genes(blue eye is phenotype of its related gene{genotype} in body) and has nothing to do with environment if question is :is your clone is identical to you? answer would be yes they are completley identical even in fingerprint and even in personality
    Nima, the phenotype is a result of the genotype + the environment, your definition is incorrect. With twins, the environmental difference begins in the womb; shown when twins are born with distinctively different weights. Therefore, a clone of yourself would be subject to a different environment than yourself from it's very conception and would most certainly not be exactly like you. The unavoidable and potentially substantial differences in lifestyle from yourself and your clone would ensure many contrasts in both appearance and personality between the two.
    Last edited by spoonman; August 29th, 2011 at 07:45 AM. Reason: grammar
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