Objectives of Cloning

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Transgenic Animals
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Graphic Overview of Gene Transfer

  Along the same lines, nuclear transfer ( cloning ) also may make it easier to produce transgenic animals . There are many potential uses for transgenic animals. For example, say you want a cow that produces in its milk a human protein valuable as medicine.

Let's review how such a cow is created to better understand how nuclear transfer could improve the process. First, you identify the human gene that directs the production of the desired protein. Then you splice this gene out of a human chromosome . You cultivate copies of the gene to inject into the nucleus of a recently fertilized cow egg. This egg is then cultivated into an embryo and implanted in a surrogate.

How is the milk of this calf different?   If the transplanted gene is successfully taken up by the egg cell's chromosomes, the calf that is born may be able to produce the desired protein in its milk. However, most times, the process fails. The egg does not develop into an embryo , the embryo does not continue into a fetus, or the fetus does not survive. Even if a calf is born, the desired gene may not appear in the chromosomes. When it does, it may not express itself properly.
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Last updated: August 18
, 2000.