RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB)
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Teru Wakayama wins NISTEP award
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June 15, 2009 CDB Team Leader Teruhiko Wakayama (Laboratory for Genomic Reprogramming ) was presented with an award from the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy for his work on the cloning of a mouse using genetic material from somatic cells taken from a mouse that had been dead and frozen for 16 years. The NISTEP prize was established in 2005 to recognize scientists who have made significant contributions to science and technology.

Wakayama became the first person to clone a mouse in 1998 while at the University of Hawaii, and has continued to study cloning by nuclear transfer and the mechanisms of genome reprogramming ever since. In November 2008, his lab reported the cloning of a mouse that had been dead and frozen at relatively high temperature for 16 years, another world-first. This achievement overturned the conventional belief that nuclear donor cells must be alive for nuclear transfer to work, and opened new avenues of possibility into the cloning of frozen extinct animals, such as wooly mammoths, and the preservation of endangered species.


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