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Copy cat

A whole menagerie of animals (including sheep, mice, cattle, goats and pigs) have been cloned by transfer of nuclear genetic material into an enucleated cell. Now, in an Advanced Online Publication from Nature, Shin et al. demonstrate that cats (Felis domesticus) can be cloned too (14 February 2002, DOI: 10.1038/nature723). They isolated fibroblasts from the oral mucosa of an adult male cat or primary cumulus cell cultures and fused them with enucleated cat ova; they then implanted cloned embryos into a recipient mother. One kitten was delivered by caesarian section just before Christmas 2001, 66 days after embryo transfer. Analysis of seven unlinked, polymorphic, cat-specific microsatellite loci confirmed that the kitten really is a clone. The cloned kitten's coat colour patterning is not identical to the donor's, demonstrating the influence of non-genetic developmental factors. Now that they can be cloned, cats may prove to have many more than nine lives.


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Weitzman, J.B. Copy cat. Genome Biol 3, spotlight-20020222-01 (2002).

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