I was told by a Biotech professor (who came in our college for a guest lecture) that Bio Technology has now become so advanced that if we want to make an identical twin (or Genetical DNA Twin) of a person then we can now be able to it using his DNA. I am a Mathematics Student so I don't know much about it. I just attended the lecture because I found it interesting. I am sorry, I know I should have asked this very simple question in Quora but, I wanted a precise answer which could be believed. So I asked here, where I will get answers only from the very experts. I apologize again Thank You So Much in advance 😊

Edit 1 :- I am satisfied with @Remi.b 's answer, @Bryan 's explanation and @anongoodnurse ' references. I should also have mentioned genetical DNA Clone in the place of identical twin. Now I've added.


2 Answers 2


I will assume that by "identical twin", you refer to "clones". Individuals who share the same genetics but of course do not necessarily share the same womb. I won't pay much attention in detail epigenetic modification nor in the length of telomeres.

While it has never been done for ethical reasons, we would probably be quite able to make a clone of a human being. We can take a cell from an individual, make it totipotent again, like a zygote and then, insert this zygote into a woman's uterus. The resulting individual is a clone and therefore have identical genetics, just like two identical twins. Similar technics have been used to clone Dolly the sheep.

We cannot, however, modify the DNA in all cells of a living individual to make this individual a perfect cone of another one.

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    $\begingroup$ Has any organism been cloned by the method you described? $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Dec 27, 2018 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't Dolly the sheep a bad example? If I remember correctly the sheep displayed a lot of age-related abnormalities. Take into account the age difference between it and the original then you have two sheep that would not likely pass as "identical" twins. Basically the question is if turning a differentiated cell totipotent again undoes all gene silencing? $\endgroup$
    – user40950
    Dec 27, 2018 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ I am quite satisfied with @Remi.b 's answer. I apologize, I used the wrong term i.e. Identical Twin , while I should have used clone in that place. I'll try to explain clearly, what I meant by my question by giving an example; e.g. If I am an adult and I want my child to be 100% like me. Then, is it possible to get it done by Biotech? As you said we'll make it totipotent and insert it into a woman's uterus. Will the resultant baby have characters from that woman? I was unable to understand Cell 's point & your answer on that also. People who commented here, please upvote my question. ty $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ @NavedTHESheikh - They will only share genetic traits. Some behavioral traits as well, but many behavioral traits are a mixture of nature (genetics) and nurture (environment). There have been cloned dogs who were unloved by the owners because while they looked the same, they weren't behaviorally the same, i.s. "She isn't my Molly." $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Not to belabour the point, but I don’t believe Dolly was cloned by inserting an induced totipotent cell into a surrogate mother. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Dec 28, 2018 at 19:17

Identical twins share:

A) Near-identical genetics, save mutations introduced after the original zygote splits

B) A womb/developmental environment pre-birth

and often share

C) A similar developmental environment after birth (i.e., in most circumstances identical twin humans would be raised in the same household)

Despite these similarities, 'identical' twins do develop some differences in personality, etc, and are often be physically distinguishable. Raising a newborn individual from an adult's DNA would ensure that at a minimum (B) and (C) are not fulfilled, and (A) could differ more than typical of identical twins if a somatic cell is used that has some mutations (which it almost certainly will) or if the cloning process introduces additional genetic or epigenetic changes.

Given those limitations, yes, such a thing is within the realm of possibilities, but there are technical challenges to doing such a procedure in humans, and there are ethical barriers to working through those technical challenges such that I would say our technology level is there yet we may not yet have the specific technology necessary. I think it is likely the Biotech professor you are referring to is intentionally blurring any distinction between the two.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank You So Much for giving your time and knowledge in answering my question. But, as I am not a Biology Student, I couldn't understand some terms that you used here. I also had used the wrong term i.e. Identical Twin while I should have used Clone instead. In other words, someone's offspring is exactly 100% like him. The only difference between them is the age difference, nothing else. Please, could you elaborate your answer towards this point in some simple words? Thanks again. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ @NavedTHESheikh - A clone is even less like a twin, as Brian explained. Brian's answer was simple. See my comment above on Remi.b's answer. Genetics are only part of what makes a person unique. Environment - even microenvironment - makes a difference. That's why twins do not have the same fingerprints: because amniotic fluid flow is different for each twin depending on their hand movements. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @NavedTHESheikh An identical twin is a clone, genetically. As anongoodnurse says, I've already said this fairly simply here; we've done this with other mammals but not humans, the barrier to further development is mostly ethical, and a genetic clone is going to be less similar than identical twins are. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 28, 2018 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan Krause oh now I've completely understood it. Thank You So Much for further explanation. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Thank You So Much, your explanations gave me a very important link towards understanding the answer. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2018 at 16:41

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