Mouse Cloning

mouse graphic

[Early Mouse Cloning] [Transgenic Mice] [BioTech Mice] [Current Mouse Cloning]

Mouse cloning has gone on for many years, quietly, with little fanfare. The earliest attempt succeeded back in the twenties or thirties, although the resulting mouse didn't look rodentlike at all -- it was a male mouse with big round ears, four fingers on each hand, a stupid smile, an ability to stand on two hind feet, and a modest need to wear clothing. Today, this mouse lives on, honored by three theme parks and a career in Hollywood. Since it so happens that he has a rather litigatious rep, he will remain unnamed.

From a biological standpoint, however, that experiment had been a failure, and few other mice were cloned until more recently. Still, well before Dolly, mice were being cloned that recognizably were mice in all particulars.

dividing mouse embryo
Mouse Embryo Development
Note that the ears develop first

We've now learned how to create transgenic mice. These are mice that look like mice, but which carry genes from some other mouse strain or animal species, probably human. You can consider them stealth mice -- you can't see their unmousyness unless you know where in their DNA to look. These mice know how to make all sorts of enzymes and other odd chemicals that their ancestors never ever had a clue about. Or a need for. You can say that these mice boldly go where no mouse has gone before. Some have even earned their Ph.D.'s in Biochemistry.

Seen that photo of the human ear growing out of the back of that mouse??? It's the !!! ALL NEW !!! *BioTech Linda Tripp Mouse*TM! Just let it loose under your home radiator or baseboards, and its implanted tape recorder will record for posterity all sorts of banalities, from the time your friends claim to have made it with Princess Di, OJ, Elvis, or whomever is the current media bread-and-circuses rage ... to those embarrassing conversations and screamfests you have with your TV when your team is losing. A great party gag!! Also helps you get rid of those unseemly, unwanted friendships in a novel way!! (However, we can't guarantee you'll ever be able to make new friends ever again after you use this product...)
(Brought to you, of course, by
Dolly's Cloning Emporium, where we stay atop of the latest fads!)

lots o cloned mice Meanwhile, quietly, tucked away in Hawaii, where investigator Teruhiko Wakayama should have been out hanging ten and catching the rays, mice were being raised up and cloned, three generationsful at a time. Well, one generation at a time, although scientists know that mice don't quite breed that way. In fact, mice happen along in nature so rapidly that the Spontaneous Generation Theory so popular a century or so ago with regard to fruitflies and those little white wiggly maggotty things that appear in old trash might apply to these rodents. In other words, it's really not necessary to help Mother Nature along when it comes to the mouse.

Cumulina was the name of Wakayama's first cloned mouse -- she was born a Libra on October 3rd, 1997, of adult cumulus (storm) cells that hang out near mouse ovaries. No word on the names of further offspring -- no doubt they've gotten numbers like the rest of us.

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Photos via ABC News online

Dolly's Cloning Emporium