Monday, January 17, 2011

Cloning Mimi!

In class we did an online activity having to do with cloning. The activity took us step-by-step showing how to clone a mouse called Mimi. Here's what we used and did:


Mimi (Mouse we clone), Megdo (Egg cell donor), Momi (Surrogate mother to grow Mimi clone), Microscope, Petri dishes, Sharp pipette, Blunt pipette, Chemical to cell division


  1. Isolate donor cells from Mimi and Megdo
  2. Remove and discard the nucleus from the egg cell
  3. Transfer the somatic cell nucleus into the encleated egg cell
  4. Stimulate cell division
  5. Implant the embryo into Momi, the surrogate mother
  6. Deliver the baby mouse clone of Mimi

All the steps for this were really simple, but they taught me a lot. After isolating the donor cells from Mimi and Megdo, then removing and discarding the nucleus from the egg cell I moved on to step 3. During this time it told me that the new DNA and the egg cell need some time to adjust with one another. Basically this is supposed to take a couple hours for the DNA to "re-boot" or "reprogram" so that it behaves like the DNA of an egg cells, but thankfully they speed up the time to a couple seconds.

Then I got to do some technology based mitosis and stimulated the egg cell. I got to use this real interesting liquid chemical called "Divided-a-Lot". (I know, they're so creative!) Now, usually after doing so the cell divides, creating a ball of 16 cells. Once again which naturally takes up to several hours took the program no more than several seconds.  So then I put the embryo in the womb of Momi, and the embryo continued to increase. It began to differentiate its cells into various tissue types which went on for 19 more days. Then a baby was born! :) It looked just like Mimi because its genetic material came from Mimi. It was called Mini Mimi -aha!-

When the activity was done it showed that the testing worked obviously. The most interesting thing about this activity was that it was actually based on scientists who did the actual experiment in 1998, at the University of Hawaii. This procedure was based on the research protocol that was used as a giant landmark in experiments involving cloning. This was a totally cool experiment. I didn't really understand the whole cloning thing until I went step-by-step and did it. I would encourage anyone go do this activity! :)

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