Despite widely publicized reports about the sheep, Dolly and Polly, cloning is still not considered successful in the scientific community. Only two percent of clones succeed and they are sometimes unhealthy. To understand exactly where cloning goes wrong, researchers at Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) examined and compared the earliest stages of development in normal embryos and cloned embryos.
"First, we mapped out some of the early steps an egg and sperm take to become an embryo," said Keith Latham, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry at TUSM and lead author of the study. "Next, we examined how well clones were able to replicate these early steps. We discovered that at this stage of development, 100 percent of clones replicated the process entirely. This tells us that the problems must occur later in the development process."
The study, "Rapid H1 linker histone transitions following fertilization or somatic cell nuclear transfer: evidence for a uniform developmental program in mice," will appear in an upcoming issue of Developmental Biology. The study is part of a larger program, directed by Latham and funded by two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, that is examining how eggs communicate with chromosomes.
Eryn Jelesiewicz | EurekAlert!
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