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A team of researchers at the University of Yamanashi in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried mouse cells preserved for up to nine months.

The achievement could be a prospective technology to preserve genetic resources for a long period, according to the team, at a time when scientists around the world are starting to preserve seeds and animal egg cells to ensure biodiversity.

Preserving animal egg cells requires liquid nitrogen, which comes with challenges in terms of costs and preservation during a disaster. Freeze-drying is a more convenient method, but it requires measures to protect DNA from being damaged.

The team, including Sayaka Wakayama, assistant professor at the university, based in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, has found that a type of catechin found in green tea is capable of protecting DNA. The team used the catechin to freeze-dry somatic cells extracted from mice.

After the preservation, the cells were rehydrated and cell nuclei extracted from them were transplanted into ordinary egg cells. They were fertilized to produce embryonic stem cells.

Written by The Jiji Press, Ltd.

Photo by The University of Yamanashi

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