The birth of viable offspring from somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in mammals caused a major re-examination of the understanding of the commitment of cells to specific tissue lineages during differentiation. The questions of whether cells undergo dedifferentiation or transdifferentiation during the development of offspring and how these changes are controlled is a source of ongoing debate that is yet to be resolved. Irrespective of the outcome of this debate, it is clear that cloning using SCNT has a place and purpose in the future of research and animal breeding. The future uses of SCNT could include the production of transgenic mice, the production of transgenic livestock and assisting with the re-establishment of endangered species. Human medicine also would benefit from future use of SCNT because it would allow the production of patient-specific embryonic stem cells.