Therapeutic cloning: Cloning designed as therapy for a disease. In therapeutic cloning, the nucleus of a cell, typically a skin cell, is inserted into a fertilized egg whose nucleus has been removed. The nucleated egg begins to divide repeatedly to form a blastocyst. Scientists then extract stem cells from the blastocyst and use them to grow cells that are a perfect genetic match for the patient. The cells created via therapeutic cloning can then be transplanted into the patient to treat a disease from which the patient suffers. In contrast to the goal of therapeutic cloning, the goal of reproductive cloning is to create a new individual, an idea that has stirred great controversy and met with almost uniform disapproval.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017