In biology, cloning is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occur in nature with organisms which reproduce asexually, such as plants, bacteria, and some insects. In biotechnology, it refers to artificial processes that create copies of DNA fragments, cells, or organisms. The first mammal that was successfully cloned from an adult cell was a sheep named Dolly. In recent times, arguably the most exciting prospect of cloning is the replication of extinct organisms such as dinosaurs or the woolly mammoth. In January of 2009, the Pyrenean ibex became the first extinct animal to be successfully cloned, though the specimen died shortly thereafter due to defects in its lungs.
In Jurassic Park, cloning technology is considerably more advanced than in our world: by the late 1980s and early 1990s, it became feasible to clone dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that could survive for long periods of time. InGen was the company that discovered this and decided to capitalize on it by constructing Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Though the cloning was largely successful, the company’s geneticists had to fill gaps in the animals’ genomes with information from other animals, such as frogs. This technique was pioneered by Henry Wu, though Laura Sorkin was the original developer of the cloning process that InGen used. Sorkin had originally wanted to continue extracting DNA from amber in order to obtain the complete, unaltered genome of the dinosaurs. However, this would have proven to be less than cost-effective, and Wu’s method of filling the gaps in the gene sequence was used instead; this is considered to be a major contributing factor as to why InGen’s dinosaurs are so different from their actual historical counterparts, lacking feathers and numerous other difference, as well as some of them having previously unheard of abilities (namely, the poison-spitting abilities of the Dilophosaurus).