Re: NEWS: "Embryo Cloning Breakthrough"

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 02:42:13 MST


At 12:42 AM 11/26/01 -0800, Robert Bradbury wrote:

>- Cloning via parthenogenesis in eggs (at least in primates) seems
> feasible. (Note that you have no fertilization as well as the
> potential for harmful gene penetrance here).

Perhaps not as much `potential for harmful gene penetrance' as one might
expect.

In the SciAm piece Max url'd, they say:

==============

WE ALSO SOUGHT TO DETERMINE whether we could induce human eggs to divide
into early embryos without being fertilized by a sperm or being enucleated
and injected with a donor cell. Although mature eggs and sperm normally
have only half the genetic material of a typical body cell, to prevent an
embryo from having a double set of genes following conception, eggs halve
their genetic complement relatively late in their maturation cycle. If
activated before that stage, they still retain a full set of genes.
  Stem cells derived from such parthenogenetically activated cells would
be unlikely to be rejected after
transplantation because they would be very similar to a patient's own cells
and would not produce many molecules that would be unfamiliar to the
person's immune system. (They would not be identical to the individual's
cells because of the gene shuffling that always occurs during the formation
of eggs and sperm.)

======================

Damien Broderick



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