Japanese scientists have created a cloned mouse from just a single drop of blood. The Riken BioResource Center collected circulating blood from the tail of a donor mouse to produce the genetically engineered creature.
The fact that mice can be cloned is nothing new for the majority of us. For years, scientists have used livers, bone marrow, and lymph nodes to clone rodents.
However, while these sources have produced results, scientists wanted to know whether circulating blood could be used to produce successful results.
The team leader, Atsuo Ogura, used similar techniques to the ones that helped create Dolly the sheep in Edinburgh. Just in case readers haven't heard about Dolly, the sheep was a "scientific sensation" after it was announced that she'd been genetically created.
Although it's about to get a little more technical and science based, just try and stick with it.
The techniques used to create this cloned mouse involved taking blood from the tail of a live mouse and then isolating the white blood cells, after which the nuclei was used for the science teams cloning experiments.
The whole process is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. This basically means that the nucleus from an adult body cell is transferred into an unfertilised egg that has had its nucleus removed.
The reports that where published in the Biology of Reproduction, a US journal, said that the study had demonstrated that, for the first time, mice could be cloned from the nuclei of "peripheral blood cells."
Whether you agree with cloning and all the ethics that surround the topic, there is definitely reason to take note of this achievement.
This is because, even if you don't believe that genetic modification is the right thing to do, this study has demonstrated just how far science has come and seemingly how far it can keep going. In an age where science appears to be championed throughout education systems, this discovery seems to give further fuel to all that support the pursuit of scientific endeavors.
If you're still not convinced, at least you can take comfort in the fact that the cloned mouse is just as cute as any other rodent (unless you don't like rodents, in which case it would appear very scary to you).
[Image via Shutterstock]