A technique that makes cloning five times more successful than previous efforts has been developed by biologists in Japan at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology. According to LiveScience, the researchers built off of the same technique that was used to create Dolly the sheep, who in 1996 was the first cloned mammal. However the method used to create Dolly has a low success rate, and cloning an animal based off of another clone often fails. But this new technique begins cell growth in a solution that prohibits enzymes that alter DNA, thus preventing genetic abnormalities that might occur and make experiments fail.
Using this approach, LiveScience reports that the researchers may now be able to create an endless line of clones. Researchers used the new cloning process to create 25 generations of mice, and they saw no decline in efficacy of the technique nor in the health or lifespan of the animals. The biologists believe that the technique could be used to clone animals for farming or conservation purposes, and that it may be possible to selectively clone specific strains of an animal as well.