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Mouse cloned from drop of blood

Posted by on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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Mouse cloned from drop of blood

By Helen Briggs BBC News  

Scientists in Japan have cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood.

Circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone, a team at the Riken BioResource Center reports in the journal Biology of Reproduction.

The female mouse lived a normal lifespan and could give birth to young, say the researchers.

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.

This technique would be applicable for generating genetic copies of invaluable strains of mice"

The Japanese research group investigated whether circulating blood cells could also be used for cloning.

Their aim was to find an easily available source of donor cells to clone scientifically valuable strains of laboratory mice.

The team, led by Atsuo Ogura, of Riken BioResource Center in Tsukuba, took blood from the tail of a donor mouse, isolated the white blood cells, and used the nuclei for cloning experiments, using the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep in Edinburgh.

The process, known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, involves transferring the nucleus from an adult body cell - such as a blood or skin cell - into an unfertilised egg that has had its nucleus removed.

Reporting their findings in the US journal, Biology of Reproduction, the scientists said the study "demonstrated for the first time that mice could be cloned using the nuclei of peripheral blood cells".

'Invaluable strains'

They added: "These cells could be used for cloning immediately after collection and no donor animals need to be euthanised.

The cloning method - somatic cell nuclear transfer

  • Clones of adult animals are produced by a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which refers to the transfer of the nucleus from a somatic cell into an egg cell
  • A somatic cell is any cell of the body apart from a germ (sex) cell
  • In cloning, the nucleus of a somatic cell is removed and inserted into a donor unfertilised egg that has had its own nucleus (containing the genetic material) removed
  • The embryo is then placed inside a surrogate mother.

"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 fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection."

Scientists in Japan 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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23068423 

by on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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Replies (1-6):
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I think this line of research is fascinating. I'm sure the idiots out there who think evolution is not real will freak out about this.

 

 

punky3175
by Punky on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM
I think what bothers me about this is they are gearing it towards large scale farming.

I also watch way too much science fiction (and OMGs! I almost spelled that like the TV channel) so it freaks me out a little. I like the idea of stem cell research but full fledged clones kinda creeps out. And I fully admit it's likely from my lack of in-depth research on the matter.


Quoting mikiemom:

I think this line of research is fascinating. I'm sure the idiots out there who think evolution is not real will freak out about this.


 


 

prommy
by Silver Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

 People are getting mad about scientists doing genetic engineering on vegetable crops but this is OK? I worry that there are so many variables involved in creating life that one mistake could lead to some scary results.

lancet98
by Silver Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Yes, I think it's a good thing.   With genetically identical mice people can do really crucial research much more easily and cheaply.   

Currently, their usual method is to breed a 'line' of mice that are hopefully genetically identical ENOUGH.   

This puts research on a different level.  Especially because much research today is on 'knockout genes' - a single gene can be inhibited and the result studied.   It might also help with epigene research.

This is less of a marvel for traits that are determined by hundreds or thousands of genes (as many traits are).   But it still might help even to study those traits.

At least you're more assured you actually have identical test animals.  

Well, to be more accurate, you have 'kinda sorta identical animals'.

At least by what we know now, you can never have entirely identical animals.

Identical twins still have non-identical markings, for example.   The pigment cells have to migrate to their location, LONG, LONG after conception.   

With the additional caveat that Copy Number Variations ('mistakes') occur in ALL individuals as they develop, even identical, cloned animals are not EXACTLY identical.   

This way, researchers have mice that are identical enough that they can do research they could not do before.

The usual assumption is that it would lead to cloning people.   Sort of a 'those of us who saw it happen, FIVE TIMES BEFORE!' (line from 'Young Frankenstein').  There's an assumption many make that all technology will eventually be misused.

For one thing, I'm not sure that's a reasonable assumption.

Humans have a much longer life span and they grow and mature in such a different way than mice(as an example, the human fetus' brain at 3 months in utero, is maturation-wise, more similar to a newborn rat than a rat fetus at a comparably early point in gestation),  that it may not work with our species.  

It may never work.  There are a lot of differences between a mouse and a human.  They may not be able to surmount them all.

I can see how this method might help breed livestock and maybe even companion animals, but it would have to be so inexpensive to be practical, and it would have to be extremely durable, too.   It's often impossible to translate experimental methods to industrial/commercial applications.

I'm not sure how cloning in this way, would help conservation.   A good many species are threatened because they aren't genetically diverse enough.   For conservation, it might be necessary to have more genetically diverse animals, not less genetically diverse animals.

If you had say, six white rhinos, and cloned each of them hundreds of times, you'd still only have six genetic lines.   There's evidence that many species have survived having very few individuals survive a catastrophe, but despite that I remain skeptical.  The trouble is that closely related individuals often have the same recessive genes - and two recessive genes will express a disorder (or an advantageous trait, to be fair).   Since most traits are a matter of multiple genes that may not be as big a problem.  

I like to believe that many species could be saved by this type of cloning, but their very identical-ness could be a big barrier to conservation.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM

 

I think with every scientific advancement there is potential for abuse. I don't doubt there will be some profiteer out to try and make a buck off of this technology. I do think it is a dangerous thing to those that hold dearly the concept that a God created man in his image. I have been reading Erik Von Danigans books concerning some of his outlandish theories and well let's just say it's interesting. I still find it fascinating and yes my Scify addiction is why I don't think colonizing mars is a good idea. That never ends well for us lol


 

Quoting punky3175:

I think what bothers me about this is they are gearing it towards large scale farming.

I also watch way too much science fiction (and OMGs! I almost spelled that like the TV channel) so it freaks me out a little. I like the idea of stem cell research but full fledged clones kinda creeps out. And I fully admit it's likely from my lack of in-depth research on the matter.


Quoting mikiemom:

I think this line of research is fascinating. I'm sure the idiots out there who think evolution is not real will freak out about this.


 


 


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM
2 moms liked this
Agreed. I don't want to eat fake crops or fake meat. I don't want to be "eliminated" for my political views some day and "recreated" in the form of a properly indoctrinated, politically- correct clone (or have that happen to anyone else).

There are some creepy possibilities.


Quoting prommy:

 People are getting mad about scientists doing genetic engineering on vegetable crops but this is OK? I worry that there are so many variables involved in creating life that one mistake could lead to some scary results.

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