A study, published in Nature Communications, looked at using freeze-dried somatic cells to produce cloned mice.
Prof Dusko Ilic, Professor of Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said:
“This is not the first time that freeze-dried cells have been used to develop clones. For example, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2500158/ This one did not go as far as live animal; the work stopped at the stage of blastocyst.
“But there have also been similar approaches leading to live births: in sheep (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12080008/), in mice (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9661196/) and in the rabbit (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14960482/).
“So, this paper does not represent much of an advance beyond what had already been done previously.”
Dr Alena Pance, Senior Lecturer in Genetics, School of Life and Medical Science, University of Hertfordshire, said:
“The capacity to store genetic material is extraordinarily important, not just to maintain samples of species but also their genetic variation. Furthermore, cheaper and more effective techniques to bank genetic material would be very helpful for the storage of existing resources of cell lines, stem cell lines and a wide variety of samples. The approach described in this work offers an alternative to present banking methods and certainly allowing more permissive temperatures would be a great advantage. However, the technique described is very laborious, with a low success rate, and, most importantly, though the integrity of the genetic material over these storage conditions was demonstrated over 9 months, it would be paramount to show extended, indefinite storage in these conditions for this system to provide an effective long term preservation of species and samples.”
‘Healthy cloned offspring derived from freeze-dried somatic cells’ by Sayaka Wakayama et al. was published in Nature Communications at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday 5 July 2022.
Prof Dusko Ilic: “I declare no conflict of interest.”
Dr Alena Pance: “I declare no conflict of interest with regards to this work.”