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Japanese scientists clone mouse from drop of blood

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A remarkable leap in genetics coming from Japan -- a team at the Riken BioResource Center, scientists were able to clone a mouse from a drop of blood. According to the journal Biology of Reproduction, blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone. Researchers say that the female mouse lived a normal lifespan and could give birth to young.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Even more science-fictional is the fact that scientists at a linked institute recently created nearly 600 exact genetic copies of one mouse.

Mice have been cloned from several different sources of donor cells, including white blood cells found in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and liver.

The Japanese research group is currently investigating whether or not circulating blood cells could also be used for cloning. The tam's objective was to find an easily available source of donor cells to clone scientifically valuable strains of laboratory mice.

Team Leader Atsuo Ogura of Riken BioResource Center in Tsukuba, Japan took blood from the tail of a donor mouse, isolated the white blood cells and used the nuclei for cloning experiments. The procedure was the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep in Edinburgh.

Known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, the process involves transferring the nucleus from an adult body cell into an unfertilized egg that has had its nucleus removed.

The scientists said the study "demonstrated for the first time that mice could be cloned using the nuclei of peripheral blood cells.

"These cells could be used for cloning immediately after collection and no donor animals need to be euthanized.

"This technique would be applicable for generating genetic copies of invaluable strains of mice, which cannot be preserved by other assisted reproductive techniques such as conventional in vitro fertilization or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection."

Japanese scientists have years of experience in cloning mice. A team at a linked institute recently revealed they had produced almost 600 mice from one donor mouse after 25 consecutive rounds of cloning.

The research is aimed at large-scale production of high-quality animals for farming or conservation purposes, they say.

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