Fertility Therapy May Aid Gene Transfer

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Science  14 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5417, pp. 1097-1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5417.1097a

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Genome tinkers may have a new tool for beefing up animal genomes with exotic DNA: sperm. On page 1180, a team of embryologists reports that they have used sperm to transfer a foreign gene into mice. The technique is a modification of a method originally developed for injecting sperm into eggs that is now standard for in vitro fertilization of human eggs. About 20% of the mouse pups born in the group's experiments carried the transgene, about as good as current techniques. But some reproductive biologists are not sure how well the technique will work in other species.