Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found a novel way to boost the paltry survival rate of cloned mammals: When two genetically identical cloned mouse embryos are combined, the aggregate embryo is considerably more likely to survive to birth.
A team from Penns School of Veterinary Medicine reports the results in the Oct. 1 issue of the European Molecular Biology Organization Journal.
"At the blastocyst stage, an early embryonic stage just prior to implantation, mouse clones typically have a much lower than normal number of cells," said corresponding author K. John McLaughlin, assistant professor of animal biology. "When we combined two clones at the four-cell stage, the embryos showed a remarkable improvement in viability, much greater than expected from the sum of their parts."
Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
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