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Interspecies Nuclear Transfer of Desert Big Horn Sheep DNA Using Recipient Domestic Bovine Ova

Jonathan Rocky, B.S., Taeyoung Shin, DVM, Ph.D., Duane Kraemer, DVM, Ph.D.


Over the last several months, the country has witnessed the impact of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) for the use in stem cell research.  The idea of cloning humans has spurred many Americans to stop the process before it has even begun.  This is a beneficial technique for preserving the genetics of endangered species, reproduction of specific cell lines, and repopulating species with a favorable genetics cell line.  Somatic cell nuclear transfer is a fairly new technology that has encouraged many new ideas that could be beneficial to the improvement of animal and human life, but also poses a threat toward the ethics of many Americans, causing great opposition.

The proposal of "Interspecies Nuclear Transfer of Desert Big Horn Sheep DNA Using Recipient Domestic Bovine Ova" is a project that requires both time and patience.  The process and the technique of SCNT of Desert Big Horn Sheep (DBHS) donor cells to domestic bovine ova as recipient cells is described in this paper.  The method used for cloning the DBHS is the same as used to clone other species such as the cow, domestic sheep and mouse.  Although the goal to produce a DBHS blastocyst was unsuccessful in this project, the process and technique learned during the 10-week summer session was a valuable experience.  If future experiments yield success in obtaining embryos to the blastocyst stage, this technique can be useful in embryo transfer experiments, possibly using the Armenian Red Sheep as a recipient for the DBHS in an effort to increase their population in areas such as the Davis Mountains of West Texas.