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Cloning and the United States GovernmentOn February 24 1997 Roslin Institute in Edinburgh Scotland announced that scientists had cloned an adult mammal for the first time These researchers removed a nucleus from a mammary gland of a sheep and implanted the nucleus into a sheeps egg with the eggs nucleus already removed This embryo was then inserted into a surrogate sheeps uterus This procedure is called somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning This process could have a great impact in medical and agricultural applications There are many different experimental procedures for cloning Blastomere separation is the equivalent of chemically induced identical twins A two- to eight-cell embryo is taken and outer coating removed The cells are then separated by solution and cultured into an embryo then inserted into a uterus Blastocyst division is also known as induced twinning A blastocyst an advanced stage of a blastomere is mechanically split into two separate embryos Each part can then be implanted into the uterus Nuclear transplantation is a more generic form of what the Scottish researchers did Nuclear transplantation uses a blastomere and enucleated egg egg cell without a nucleus A nucleus from one of the blastomere cells is transferred to the enucleated egg and then implanted into a uterus The difference between the Scottish researchers method somatic cell nuclear transfer and nuclear transplantation is the age of the cell that is to be cloned The Scottish researchers used a cell from an adult sheep and nuclear transplantation uses a nucleus from a two to eight cell embryo a blastomereCloning could have many useful potential uses It could be used to engineer large quantities of genetically identical organisms This application could help crop yields and produce organs for human transplant Researchers would like to use this as a tool to see how genes work and how to turn some genes on and others off Whether a gene is turned off or on determines what function it will have
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