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CLONING SPECIAL REPORT Dollys mixture Clones are not the perfect replicas we thoughtBy Philip Cohen Dolly the sheep does not have precisely the same genetic make-up as the adult sheep from which she was cloned A study shows that the genes in her mitochondria--the powerhouses of cells--came from another sheep involved in the experiment The result leaves scientists wondering exactly how similar are Dolly and her genetic twin In a cloning technique called nuclear transfer a donor cell is fused with an egg stripped of its nuclear DNA For Dolly the donor was an udder cell from an adult ewe see Diagram The chromosomes of an animal that develops from this union come only from the donor so the animal is its genetic twin or clone But it was unclear whether such animals are true clones The vast majority of a cells DNA is in the nucleus but a few genes are found in mitochondria which are separate structures So did Dollys mitochondria come from the udder cell or the egg I thought that in a cloned animal a mixture of the two mitochondria would persist says Eric Schon of Columbia University in New York To test this he joined Dollys creator Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Scotland and others to examine the mitochondria of Dolly and nine sheep cloned from fetal cells The team did not find donor mitochondria in the blood muscle milk or placenta of the animals which means at least 995 per cent
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