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Somatic cell nuclear transfer

In genetics and developmental biology, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a laboratory technique for creating an ovum with a donor nucleus.

It can be used in embryonic stem cell research, or in regenerative medicine where it is sometimes referred to as "therapeutic cloning." It can also be used as the first step in the process of reproductive cloning.

In SCNT the nucleus, which contains the organism's DNA, of a somatic cell (a body cell other than a sperm or egg cell) is removed and the rest of the cell discarded.

At the same time, the nucleus of an egg cell is removed.

The nucleus of the somatic cell is then inserted into the enucleated egg cell.

After being inserted into the egg, the somatic cell nucleus is reprogrammed by the host cell.

The egg, now containing the nucleus of a somatic cell, is stimulated with a shock and will begin to divide.

After many mitotic divisions in culture, this single cell forms a blastocyst (an early stage embryo with about 100 cells) with almost identical DNA to the original organism.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Somatic cell nuclear transfer", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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