Cal King asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Serious question about cloning?

I am just wondering. If someone with male pattern baldness is cloned, would the clone have male pattern baldness from birth?

Update:

I ask because Dolly the sheep developed arthritis at an early age, even though arthritis is generally an old person's disease. Dolly the sheep only lived 6 years, whereas normal sheep lives to be around 12. Dolly was cloned with cells from a sheep that was 6 years old. So, if a human clone was made with an over 50 year old human, then the clone may have similoar problems that Dolly had, and one of these problems may be male pattern baldness.

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  • Indog
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is actually a very interesting point, and unfortunately, none of us will be able to provide you with a definitive answer, since there's a noticeable dearth of human clones to ask. Still, it's worth speculating about!

    While it's true that the genome itself would not be altered during the cloning process, the epigenome, or pattern of activated and inactivated genes, of the 50-year-old human would likely be quite different from the epigenome of a brand new zygote derived from egg and sperm. In the testes and ovaries, epigenetic tags are stripped from chromosomes and reset during gamete formation. By bypassing this step, the clone ends up with tags that have been modified and accumulated over the span of, at most, 50 years, depending on the cell type. Obviously they aren't irreversibly marked up, since cloning can and does work (developmental genes can be turned on at proper times, despite coming from a differentiated adult cell), but I wouldn't expect every last tag to revert to its original, zygote state.

    So it seems to me that male pattern baldness at an early age, if not from birth, is entirely possible. If the baldness genes in the infant are being expressed the same way a 50-year-old's are, a toupée or comb-over may be in order right from the get-go.

  • 1 decade ago

    > " am just wondering. If someone with male pattern baldness is cloned, would the clone have male pattern baldness from birth?"

    No. Though androgenic alopecia is genetically-determined, it should occur at the "normal" age.

    > "I ask because Dolly the sheep developed arthritis at an early age, even though arthritis is generally an old person's disease. Dolly the sheep only lived 6 years, whereas normal sheep lives to be around 12."

    Dolly died of a viral lung disease common in sheep.

    A thorough necropsy was performed, and showed no evidence of premature aging.

    Though Dolly did indeed develop premature arthritis, there are a number of possible alternative causes for this to premature aging which have not been ruled out; furthermore, no other cloned sheep, cow, etc. has showed similar premature arthritis.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on this cloning technique. If by "birth" you mean the clone emerges as a full-grown adult, then the baldness would be exhibited. If the "birth" mimicks natural birth, then no, the infant clone would not exhibit male pattern baldness yet.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    its an exact copy of the person being cloned. That means if the person being cloned became bald at age 50, the clone will also be bald at age 50.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No.

    The genes would be identical so the baldness would occur around relatively the same time unless the environment had a major impact on the expression of the gene.

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