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The science and technology of farm animal cloning: a review of the state of the art of the science, the technology, the problems and the possibilities

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskning


Mickey Gjerris, Gábor Vajta

Details of the first mammal born after nuclear transfer cloning were published by Steen Malte Willadsen in 1986. In spite of its enormous scientific significance, this discovery failed to trigger much public concern, possibly because the donor cells were derived from pre-implantation stage embryos. The major breakthrough in terms of public recognition has happened when Ian Wilmut et al. [Wilmut, I., Schnieke, A.E., McWhir, J., Kind, A.J., Campbell, K.H., 1997. Viable offspring derived from fetal és adult mammalian cells. Nature 385, 810-813] described the successful application of almost exactly the same method, but using the nuclei of somatic cells from an adult mammal, to create Dolly the sheep. It has become theoretically possible to produce an unlimited number of genetic replicates from an adult animal or a post-implantation foetus. Since 1997 a number of different species including pigs, goats, horses, cats, etc. have been cloned with the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique. Although the technology still has relatively low success rates and there seems to be substantial problems with the welfare of some of the cloned animals, cloning is used both within basic research and the biomedical sector. The next step seems to be to implement cloning in the agricultural production system and several animals have been developed in this direction. This article reviews the current state of the art of farm animal cloning from a scientific and technological perspective, describes the animal welfare problems and critically assess different applications of farm animal cloning. The scope is confined to animal biotechnologies in which the use of cell nuclear transfer is an essential part and extends to both biomedical and agricultural applications of farm animal cloning. These applications include the production of genetically identical animals for research purposes, and also the creation of genetically modified animals. In the agricultural sector, cloning can be used as a tool within farm animal breeding. We do not intend to give an exhaustive review of the all the literature available; instead we pinpoint issues and events pivotal to the development of current farm animal cloning practices and their possible applications.

ForlagDanish Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment
Antal sider34
StatusUdgivet - 2005
NavnReport / Danish Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment

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