Scientists cloned mouse from single drop of blood

Credit: Riken Center for Developmental Biology

Scientists at the Riken BioResource Center have successfully cloned a female mouse using just one blood cell that was taken from the tail of another mouse. Not only did the cloned mouse live 23 months (that's standard for a lab animal), she was also able to reproduce and no donor animal had to be euthanised in the process.

The research team published their findings in the journal Biology of Reproduction, which "demonstrated for the first time that mice could be cloned using the nuclei of peripheral blood cells." Now, genetically superior animals can be cloned with greater ease. This is significant when we're talking about cloning large numbers of animals for farming or to protect endangered species. 

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge from the MRC National Institute of Medical Research in London added that, "the efficiency of cloning from these cell types was very good, suggesting that even a small drop of blood will contain sufficient numbers... this is helpful if the intention is to use cloning to propagate and expand numbers of rare or valuable types of individual or species."


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