LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2002 ( – A chip that will automatically create hundreds of cloned embryos at a time is being developed by a Californian biotech company, New Scientist reports today. The long and laborious process of removing the nucleus from eggs in order to begin the cloning process has been automated.

Aegen Biosciences has created a nuclear transfer array which consists of a silicon slice a few centimeters across which holds hundreds of eggs in tiny wells. The eggs are then denucleated by placing the chip in a centrifuge which forces the nuclei out of the egg through a small hole in the bottom of each well. The company's founders Richard Kuo and Gregory Baxter are now working on the next step, which is to fuse a donor cell with the denucleated egg.

The New Scientist reports that “If the chip does improve success rates in animals, it is likely to be used to create cloned human embryos.”