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Cloned Human Embryos Successfully Reprogrammed Using Human - But Not Animal - Eggs
Date:2/2/2009

New study questions ability of human-animal hybrids to generate stem cells

WORCESTER, Mass., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: ACTC) and its collaborators reported today that human oocytes (or 'eggs') have the capacity to extensively reprogram adult human cells. The research, which appears online ahead of print in the journal Cloning and Stem Cells (Editor-in-Chief: Sir Ian Wilmut; published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.) demonstrates that although human-to-human clones (human clones) and human-to-animal clones (hybrids) appear similar, the pattern of reprogramming of the donor human cell is dramatically different. In contrast to the human-animal hybrids, the gene expression pattern of the human clones was highly similar to normal human embryos. The paper is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/clo.

Since the cloning of Dolly the Sheep over a decade ago, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been considered a promising way to generate personalized stem cells to repair the body without fear of tissue rejection. Due to the serious shortage of human donor eggs, cows, rabbits, and other animals have long been considered an attractive surrogate source of eggs. Although previous reports have documented the formation of cloned embryos using both human and animal eggs, to-date, there has been no data indicating whether -and to what extent the donor DNA was reprogrammed.

This new study looked at the reprogramming of human cells using eggs obtained from human and animal sources, and shows for the first time that the donor DNA in the cloned human embryos is extensively reprogrammed through extensive up-regulation ('turning on' of genes) with similar expression patterns to normal human embryos. Nearly all of the key differentially-expressed genes were activated in the human clones. In distinct
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SOURCE Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
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