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Therapeutic cloning gets a boost with new research findings
Date:3/24/2009

Therefore, the bottleneck effect limits the transfer of mutations from donor cells to cloned offspring."

Not only did the researchers find that SCNT does not lead to an increase in the frequency of point mutations in cloned mice, the team also found that naturally conceived fetuses and cloned fetuses that are the same age have similar rates of spontaneous mutation development. They attribute this finding to epigenetic reprogramming.

It is known in the scientific community that germ cells contain an epigenome, a programmed state of the genome, that keeps mutation rates low. They suggest this type of epigenome is found in germ cells because those cells are responsible for contributing genetic information to subsequent generations. Adult somatic cells (the donor cells in SCNT) have higher mutation rates and less stringent epigenetic programming to avoid mutations than germ cells, but offspring produced from somatic cells by cloning have mutation rates similar to those in offspring produced by natural reproduction, suggesting that the epigenome of an adult somatic cell is reprogrammed during cloning to maintain the genetic integrity of that cell's progeny.


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Contact: Christi Fish
christi.fish@utsa.edu
210-458-7584
University of Texas at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert

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