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Cloning

Scientists Make Major Advances in Cloning Technology

21 years, 3 months ago

10838  0
Posted on Nov 22, 2002, 9 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Cloning could soon be much easier and cheaper thanks to new technology developed by Danish scientist Gabor Vajta of the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences. In order to create a cloned embryo scientists need an egg cell that contains no genetic material, so that they can add the genetic material of the cell they intend to clone.

Cloning could soon be much easier and cheaper thanks to new technology developed by Danish scientist Gabor Vajta of the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences. In order to create a cloned embryo scientists need an egg cell that contains no genetic material, so that they can add the genetic material of the cell they intend to clone. Currently, an expensive microscopic needle is needed to remove the genetic material from the egg. However, the new technique enables scientists to slice the egg in half, quickly discard the unwanted genetic material, add new genetic material, and then finally fuse the two halves of the egg back together. As well as being much quicker and easier, the new technique is also much cheaper - the most expensive piece of equipment needed is a $3,500 electrofusion machine, which fuses the two halves back into a single cell. According to the New Scientist, a healthy looking calf has already been born in Australia using the new technique, and another is expected to be born shortly.

Commenting on the advance Michael Bishop, ex-president of US cattle-cloning company Infigen, said: "It's so much simpler than anything we are doing today, it's dramatic, it's a huge step toward roboticizing the whole process."

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 14th August 2002

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