Cloned mice suffering from obesity shed more doubts on the cloning technique
the debate regarding the viability of cloning technique was once again refuelled with a recent research revealing that cloned mice may develop obesity when they reach adulthood. The research was carried out by Randall R Sakai and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati, usa . They studied a batch of nine obese mice cloned by researchers from the University of Hawaii and found that the mice were normal in every way except for having a great deal of excess body fat. "These animals were very active, but they had extra body fat, high levels of insulin and excess leptin hormone that is produced by fat cells," said Sakai (www.yahoo.com , March 2, 2002).
Surprisingly, when these mice were allowed to mate and reproduce normally , their offsprings did not suffer from the same problem. According to the researchers, this indicates that either the donor cells used or the method of cloning itself may be responsible for the obesity.
To confirm their theory, the researchers studied another group of mice termed ivem. This group was allowed to mate normally, but their embryo was removed and developed in the same laboratory setting as the clones. "Even the ivem offsprings developed increased body weight as adults. This suggests that some factor associated with the manipulation of cells in culture may be producing the adverse effects," Sakai said.
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