Sooam focuses on research in advanced biotechnology for industrial and biomedical applications using animal cloning and pluripotent stem cells combined with transgenic technology. Research is performed at Sooam for the benefit of both humans and animals. Some of the efforts include saving endangered species from extinction and creating animal disease models for research and pharmaceutical purposes.



Transgenic Research Overview


Transgenic research requires expertise in cloning technology as well as in molecular cell research. Current projects of transgenic research include production of animal disease models for type 1&2 diabetes and Alzheimer's as well as production of miniature pigs for xenotransplantation purposes.



Simplified example of knock-in transgenic animal production method.

RNA is extracted from tissues or cells of an animal. The extracted RNA is used for synthesis of cDNA, from which a target gene is isolated and amplified using molecular biology techniques. Then, a vector is constructed so that it contains the target gene. When the vector is linearized and transfected into an animal cell, random integration of the target gene into the DNA of the animal cell occurs. Various selection markers including green fluorescence protein (GFP) enable the selection of cells that are highly likely to express the target gene. These cells are used in the somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) process similar to that in dog cloning to produce animals expressing the target gene.


Of course, there are many more steps involved in the production of transgenic animals, and those steps are a lot more complicated than what is shown above. Also, various molecular biology techniques exist other than the knock-in method mentioned above. The researchers specializing in molecular cell biology at Sooam are working constantly to improve and optimize such complex procedures involved in the production of transgenic animals.