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Skin cells, from biopsy, commonly used to clone cattle
GALESBURG, Kan. — Skin cells are commonly used to clone a beef animal.

A biopsy is taken, often a small punch of the ear, and the cells are grown in a lab.

Cells are grown for about 7-14 days until literally millions of cells are generated.

The cells are frozen in vials stored in liquid nitrogen. Oocytes, or unfertilized bovine eggs that have been stripped of their DNA, are implanted with the new cells.

These are grown about seven days and then the embryos are implanted into receipt cows, similarly to traditional embryo transfer.

Here are more cloning facts:

•Cloning can be done from almost any cell in the animal except for sperm, embryos or red blood cells.
•Cloning in beef cattle is called sematic cell nuclear transfer and is not the same as transgenic cloning where genes from two different species are put together to create a new species not previously occurring in nature.
•Cloning can be done from meat that is less than 72 hours post-mortem.
•Cloned animals are basically genetic copies of the original animals and are always the same sex. Clones are considered virtual twins of the original.
•Slight variances in hair coat pattern are possible in clones compared to the original.

This farm news was published in the March 15, 2006 issue of Farm World.