Thursday, February 22, 2007

Clone rodents

Cloning hall of fame

In 1997, scientists cloned the first mouse from adult cells, calling her Cumulina.
Cumilina died at the age of two years and seven months – a relatively healthy age for a mouse. She gave birth to two litters during her lifetime.
Mice remain one of the more difficult species to clone.

Ralph the rat
Rats are particularly difficult to clone: the first, Ralph, was produced in 2003.
Early development in the rodents is different to other mammals: rat eggs "activate" as soon as they leave the ovaries, making it difficult to introduce new genetic material.
A chemical is needed to stabilise the embryo before cloning is possible.

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