Say bonjour to bunny clones
Paris - Here comes Peter Cottontail, blazing his carbon copy's trail.
For the first time French scientists claim to have successfully cloned rabbits from adult cells.
A research team from France's National Institute for Agricultural Research achieved the breakthrough, which follows the successful cloning of sheep, cattle, goats, mice, pigs and cats elsewhere.
Advocates of cloning point to its benefits in helping to understand human disease.
Of note, the physiology of cloned rabbits matches humans more closely than rats or mice.
Although rabbits typically have little problem reproducing naturally, researchers say, "the possibility of targeting specific genes during the cloning process could markedly enhance the use of rabbits as models of human disease."
Their research was published by New York-based Nature Biotechnology magazine.
The rabbits were cloned via the conventional method of injecting DNA from an adult rabbit into an egg. Surrogate mother rabbits reared resulting embryos.