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Two kittens have been born using a new cloning method that may be safer and more efficient than traditional methods, a U.S. company said [5 Aug 2004]. The two kittens, Tabouli and Baba Ganoush, were born to separate surrogate mothers in June, [Genetic Savings & Clone] said. The company used a new method called chromatin transfer, which had been perfected by cloning expert James Robl and colleagues at Hematech, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Hematech is using the method to clone cattle that produce human antibodies in their milk.
[Chromatin transfer] involves dissolving the outside of the nucleus of the cell to be cloned and removing certain regulatory proteins from the chromosomes, which carry the genes, and the proteins around the chromosomes. This entire cell with its permeable nucleus is fused to an egg cell to create the clone.