Cloning and Transgenic Animals Research in Iran


Nasr Esfahani MH *,

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In 1980 the first transgenic mice called the "super mice" capable of producing a human drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator to treat blood clots) was produced by the pronuclear microinjection (PNM) technique. However with the birth of 'Dolly' and 'Polly' in 1997 the methodology of livestock transgenesis was greatly revolutionized. Dolly of course is the famous 'cloned sheep' announced in early 1997 and 'Polly' is a transgenic sheep from the same research program. Since then isolation of human pharmaceutical proteins from milk of genetically modified animals became a priority for all the countries. Accordingly the cloning animal using the delicate technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has expanded from handful research laboratories in to over 200 laboratories across at least 40 nations. This perspective describes a historical background of the current status of cloning and transgenesis technology in Iran regarding the worldwide’s developments. We outline the experimental designs the pitfalls and challenges encountered and the eventual success in developing a practical approach. Finally our suggestions of the promises of these two tightly joined technologies for advancing basic research science and pharmaceutical and therapeutic strategies will be discussed.