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J Anat. 2002 Mar;200(Pt 3):267-75.

A background to nuclear transfer and its applications in agriculture and human therapeutic medicine.

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University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.


The development of a single celled fertilized zygote to an animal capable of reproduction involves not only cell division but the differentiation or specialization to numerous cell types forming each tissue and organ of the adult animal. The technique of nuclear transfer allows the reconstruction of an embryo by the transfer of genetic material from a single donor cell, to an unfertilized egg from which the genetic material has been removed. Successful development of live offspring from such embryos demonstrates that the differentiated state of the donor nucleus is not fixed and can be reprogrammed by the egg cytoplasm to control embryo and fetal development. Nuclear transfer has many applications in agriculture and human medicine. This article will review some of the factors associated with the success of embryo development following nuclear transfer and outline the potential uses of the technology.

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