Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cloned Pig Debuts In Science, Sets The Stage For Organ Transplants

Date:
August 17, 2000
Source:
American Association For The Advancement Of Science
Summary:
Her name is Xena, and she joins that other famous female, Dolly, in the ranks of the barnyard cloned. Xena's debut is reported in the 18 August issue of the international journal, Science. Xena's name underscores one hope for the future of pig cloning-the use of these animals in xenotransplantation, where pigs would be donors of genetically modified organs for transplant into humans.

Her name is Xena, and she joins that other famous female, Dolly, in the ranks of the barnyard cloned. Xena's debut is reported in the 18 August issue of the international journal, Science.

Xena's name underscores one hope for the future of pig cloning-the use of these animals in xenotransplantation, where pigs would be donors of genetically modified organs for transplant into humans. Along with xenotransplantation, pig cloning also may pave the way for a variety of advances in animal husbandry, according to Science lead author Akira Onishi of the National Institute of Animal Industry in Japan.

The female piglet was cloned by microinjecting genetic material from fetal pig skin cells into eggs stripped of their own genetic material. A needle-like pipette used in the microinjection works like a tiny gun or drill, firing into the egg in a controlled and rapid motion.

This method is based on one reported two years ago by Teruhiko Wakayama and colleagues at the University of Honolulu to successfully clone mice.

Onishi and coauthors suggest that this quick and clean insertion may be key to Xena's successful birth. The method transfers only the genetic material from the fetal donor cell. By comparison, the method used to clone Dolly fuses together the entire donor cell containing the genetic material and the empty egg.

"With microinjection, you can be quite selective about the genetic transfer," says co-author Anthony C.F. Perry of the Rockefeller University. "You can separate the chromosomes out, and avoid contaminating the egg with the rest of the material from the donor cell nucleus."

After stimulating the injected eggs with an electrical pulse and allowing them to mature into early-stage embryos, the Science researchers transplanted the embryos into four surrogate mothers. Healthy and apparently normal, Xena was the one birth from 110 transplanted embryos.

The piglet's true colors were apparent from the beginning. Xena, cloned from cells from a strain of black pigs, has a black coat that contrasts sharply with the white coat of her surrogate mother. To confirm that Xena was a clone, however, the researchers compared the genetic "fingerprints" of Xena, the surrogate, and the donor cell line. Xena shares the genome of the donor cell line, and not the genome of her surrogate mother.

The next step in pig cloning-one that researchers hope will make xenotransplantation a viable option-will be to genetically modify the cells from which the pigs are cloned, according to Onishi.

Normally, the human immune system launches an all-out assault on pig organs after transplantation. To trick the body into accepting these transplants, scientists would like to alter the immunological makeup of these pig organs.

By making these alterations at the genetic level in the cells used to create clones, "it may some day be possible to obtain a supply of pigs with organs suitable for human transplant," says Onishi.

Cloning also could be a boon to animal husbandry, notes Onishi, since it could help preserve the genetic pig types that have been carefully bred for meat production and increase the breeding stock of these animals.

The scientists plan to continue their cloning research using the microinjection technique and hope to improve their success rate in the future.

The other members of the research team are Tomiji Akita, Satoshi Mikawa, Kumiko Takeda, Takashi Awata, and Hirohumi Hanada of the National Institute of Animal Industry, and Masaki Iwamoto of Prima Meatpackers. Funding for this work was provided by in part by a grant (Bio Cosmos Program) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association For The Advancement Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Cloned Pig Debuts In Science, Sets The Stage For Organ Transplants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080251.htm>.
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. (2000, August 17). Cloned Pig Debuts In Science, Sets The Stage For Organ Transplants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080251.htm
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Cloned Pig Debuts In Science, Sets The Stage For Organ Transplants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000817080251.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins