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Nuclear Transfers

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  • DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid is the information "blue-print" of the cell. It is a nucleic acid and is made from building blocks called nucleotides. This genetic information is passed from parent to child... more
  • Egg: a female gamete, which keeps all the parts of a cell after fusing with a sperm.
  • Gamete: specialized cells found in your reproductive organs that have half the amount of DNA of somatic cells. These cells combine to make a fertilized egg... more
  • Gene: a region of DNA where a specific set of instructions for one trait is kept. We get some of our genes from our mother and some from our father... more
  • Nucleus: where DNA stays in the cell, plural is nuclei.
  • Sperm: a male gamete, which only transfers its DNA to the egg... more

Nuclear Transfers for the Uptown Busnuclear transfers

Scientists found that they could make clones through a process called nuclear transfer. Nuclear transfer uses the technology that puts a sperm into an egg for artificial fertilization, but takes it a step further.

Almost all cells have a nucleus. A nucleus is where the DNA or genetic blueprint for life is located inside the cell. When you remove the nucleus, it is called enucleation. Pronounced: E' - new - klee - a - shun. Removing the nucleus requires the use of a small needle that is inserted into the cell. The needle sucks the nucleus out of the cell. The same process is performed on another cell. The nuclei can be switched then. The cells recover from the needle wound and start working again.


Credits: Image from Mizutani, E. et al. Generation of cloned mice and nuclear transfer embryonic stem cell lines from urine-derived cells.Sci. Rep6, 23808; doi: 10.1038/srep23808 (2016). Retrieved July 2, 2016 from http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23808. Published under Creative Commons BY 4.0 International.

Nuclear transfer technique

Pipette holding egg (left) while nucleus is removed from the cell using a fine needle (right).

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Nuclear transfer technique

Pipette holding egg (left) while nucleus is removed from the cell using a fine needle (right).

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.