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Over many decades assisted reproductive technologies, including artificial insemination, embryo transfer, in vitro production (IVP) of embryos, cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), and stem cell culture, have been developed with the aim of refining breeding strategies for improved production and health in animal husbandry. More recently, biomedical applications of these technologies, in particular, SCNT and stem cell culture, have been pursued in domestic mammals in order to create models for human disease and therapy. The following review focuses on presenting important aspects of pre-implantation development in cattle, pigs, horses, and dogs. Biological aspects and impact of assisted reproductive technologies including IVP, SCNT, and culture of pluripotent stem cells are also addressed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.