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Cloning

Author(s): Joseph G. Marx, PhD

Stem Cells and Therapeutic Cloning

Once the Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) process has been used to create a zygote, the zygote divides and forms a ball of cells, called the morula. As the morula matures, separate external and internal layers of cells form. 

The blastocyst stage begins when the inner mass of cells separates from the outer ring of cells. The cells (blastomeres) making up the inner mass are stem cells capable of becoming any cell in the body (pluripotent). The blastocyst is not allowed to progress past the 14-day stage. 

The importance of stem cells produced by SCNT is that they are a perfect genetic match to the donor somatic cell. This eliminates all rejection issues associated with tissue transplants.