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Riken researchers use single mouse to clone 598 mice of 26 generations

Kyodo

Researchers have succeeded in producing 598 mouse clones over 26 generations from a single mouse by using a re-cloning technique.

The team led by Teruhiko Wakayama at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe published its study Thursday in Cell Stem Cell, the online version of the U.S. science journal.

The technique could be useful for “large-scale production of superior-quality animals for farming or conservation purposes,” according to Wakayama.

Previously, scientists had been unable to overcome the limitations of the technique, called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which resulted in low success rates and restricted the number of times mammals could be re-cloned.

The group failed in attempts to clone cats, pigs and mice more than two to six times, but by adding trichostatin, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, to the cell culture medium in producing mouse clones in 2005, Wakayama and his team succeeded in increasing cloning efficiency drastically.

By improving the technique, the group was able to clone the mice repeatedly 25 times without seeing a reduction in the success rate.