Friday, 25 April 2014

MfD: Czechs discover secret of natural cloning

26 April 2012

Prague, April 25 (CTK) - Researchers from the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences are the first to have discovered in laboratory the way in which some animals clone themselves in the wild, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes Wednesday.

After some time, further research may allow for the "production" of human organs, MfD writes.

This may be a hope for the doctors who look for donors of hearts, kidneys and liver for mortally ill patients in vain, it adds.

Nature itself embarked on the path of cloning millions of years ago. Some animal species are able of self-cloning, which means that females create the exact copies of themselves without the fertilisation by their males, MfD writes.

Scientists have known this phenomenon for decades, but they were never able to make the animals repeat it in a laboratory, it adds.

It was only the team of Czech researchers that managed to do so with the small fish Spiny Loach.

The scientists created similar conditions in which the fish multiply in the wild for the Spiny Loach in aquariums, MfD writes.

For the first time, they could examine how the females "copy themselves," it adds.

"After a 12-year research, we managed to faithfully emulate natural cloning of the fish in exactly the same way as in the wild," Professor Petr Rab is quoted as saying.

In the case of Spiny Loach, the gametes penetrate into female's eggs, but do not fertilise them, only start the cloning, MfD writes.

"Solely identical daughters are the descendants. The females virtually abuse their males for their own multiplication," Lukas Choleva, from the research team, is quoted as saying.

Rab said there were some 80 forms of lower vertebrate able to produce quite identical descendants or clones in the wild.

"One of them, Spiny Loach, lives in a brook near our institute. Almost before our own eyes," Rab said.

"We have taken a vital step as we are able to trigger the cloning process among the Spiny Loach," Choleva said.

"Now we have to examine in detail the natural mechanisms of asexual reproduction," he added.

Czechs scientists have embarked on a different path of research than their Scottish counterparts who made artificial cloning and produced the Dolly female domestic sheep, using the process of nuclear transfer.

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