Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (Schematic)
This animation shows how somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) creates an embryo from an egg cell and a body cell.
During SCNT, scientists remove the nucleus from a healthy egg cell. They then transplant a nucleus from another cell into the egg cell. The resulting embryo can be used to create a cloned organism (reproductive cloning), or to generate embryonic stem cells that genetically match the nucleus donor (therapeutic cloning). The animation illustrates an example of cloning with a skin cell nucleus donor.
This animation is a clip from a 2006 Holiday Lecture Series, Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different steps in the SCNT process.