06/28/2013 02:22 EDT | Updated 07/03/2013 09:13 EDT

Mouse Cloned From Blood: Single Drop Was All It Took

Japanese scientists say they can build a veritable assembly line of identical mice.

One drop of blood at a time.

The BBC reports that's all it took -- 10 microlitres of blood taken from a mouse's tail -- to build a brand new one that lived a normal lifespan and could bear offspring.

Motherboard reports, researchers may be able to produce a horde of identical animals for lab testing.

A contentious issue, animal testing has spawned new vaccines for humans as well as ensured the safety of myriad products -- as well as a powerful backlash from animal rights advocates.

In an abstract of the study, published in Biology of Reproduction, scientists at the Riken BioResource Center claim they used the same process that resulted in the world's first cloned animal -- Dolly the sheep.

Scientists used somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create the clone, according to International Business Times.

Previously, mice had been replicated from multiple cells, including blood from lymph nodes and bone marrow, the BBC reports.

"This strategy will be applied to the rescue of infertile founder animals or a 'last-of-line' animal possessing invaluable genetic resources," researchers wrote.

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