A whole menagerie of animals (including sheep, mice, cattle, goats and pigs) have been cloned by transfer of nuclear genetic material into an enucleated cell. Now, in an Advanced Online Publication from Nature,Taeyoung Shin and colleagues demonstrate that cats (Felis domesticus) can be cloned too (Nature 2002, DOI: 10.1038/nature723).

Shin et al. isolated fibroblasts from the oral mucosa of an adult male cat or primary cumulus cell cultures and fused them with enucleated cat ova; they then implanted cloned embryos into a recipient mother. One kitten was delivered by caesarian section just before Christmas 2001, 66 days after embryo transfer. Analysis of seven unlinked, polymorphic, cat-specific microsatellite loci confirmed that the kitten really is a clone. The cloned kitten's coat colour patterning is not identical to the donor's, demonstrating the influence of non-genetic developmental factors.

Now that they can be cloned, cats may prove to...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!