Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mice Revived from Cells Frozen after 16 years

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Japanese scientists have produced clones of mice that have been dead and frozen for 16 years -- a feat that could lead researchers to one day resurrect long-extinct species, such as the mammoth. Or perhaps a step closer to resurrecting Ted Williams now in deep cryogenics suspension in Arizona. When Ted Williams died last July 5, John Henry arranged to have his father's body frozen and moved to Alcor.
Cryonics is the practice of using very cold temperatures to stop the dying process when ordinary medicine can no longer sustain life. This is done with the intention of saving a patient's life until a cure for their illness can be found, and means developed to reverse the cryonics process.

Until now, scientists have only been able to produce clones using cells from live animals. This is how researchers created Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult animal.
Researchers had thought that frozen cells were unusable because ice crystals would have damaged the DNA. That belief would rule out the possibility of resurrecting extinct animals from their frozen remains.

But the latest research -- published in the journal, Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences -- shows that scientists may have overcome the obstacle.

Researchers at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, used cells from mice that had been frozen for 16 years at -20 Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit).
They extracted the nucleus and injected it into eggs whose DNA had been removed. Several steps later, the scientists were able to clone the mice.

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