Researchers at the University of Hawaii, who developed the first mouse clones last year using the Honolulu Technique, have reported the successful production of male mouse clones. Their report appears in the June issue of Nature Genetics. To date, all mammal clones produced from adult somatic cells are female, as they were produced from cells related to the female reproductive system. A mammary gland cell was used to created Dolly the sheep and cumulus cells, which surround developing eggs eggs in ovaries, were used to clone mice. This particular experiment produced three live male mouse offspring from tale tip cells last autumn. Two died shortly after birth but the surviving clone has developed and mated normally, producing two healthy litters.
The research is significant because it shows that non-reproductive cells can be used to clone mammals of either sex. However, even the Honolulu technique appears to be plagued by a low survival rate since only three out of the 274 transferred embryos reached full term.