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Resurrection is possible

Resurrection is possible

Cloning animals by nuclear transfer provides an opportunity to preserve endangered mammalian species. However, it has been suggested that the “resurrection” of frozen extinct species (such as the woolly mammoth) is impracticable, as no live cells are available, and the genomic material that remains is inevitably degraded. Here we report production of cloned mice from bodies kept frozen at −20 °C for up to 16 years without any cryoprotection. As all of the cells were ruptured after thawing, we used a modified cloning method and examined nuclei from several organs for use in nuclear transfer attempts. Using brain nuclei as nuclear donors, we established embryonic stem cell lines from the cloned embryos. Healthy cloned mice were then produced from these nuclear transferred embryonic stem cells by serial nuclear transfer. Thus, nuclear transfer techniques could be used to “resurrect” animals or maintain valuable genomic stocks from tissues frozen for prolonged periods without any cryopreservation.

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