Cow eggs can develop for a while with genes from other species Copyright 1998 Nando.net Copyright 1998 The Associated Press NEW YORK (January 19, 1998 00:43 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- Scientists have put genes from adult sheep, pigs and other species into cow eggs and the eggs have grown into early embryos. If the technique can be improved, it might help scientists produce genetically altered animal organs for transplanting into people, said researcher Neal L. First of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scientists might be able to produce organs rather than whole animals from the transformed eggs, he said. The work is to be reported Monday in Boston at a meeting of the International Embryo Transfer Society. Researchers replaced the cow genes in the eggs with sheep, pig, rat or monkey genes, taken from the ear cells of adult animals. Eggs then developed according to the timetable of whatever species donated the genes, First said. At least some of the inserted genes were apparently reprogrammed by the eggs to promote early development of the species they came from, First said. Some embryos were put into females of the appropriate species for further development, but the pregnancies ended in miscarriage early on, First said. "We have lots of things to learn if we are going to make it go to completion," First said in a telephone interview. He said it's not clear whether the technique could produce baby animals.
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