Tag Archives | Cloning

Cloning The Mammoth

Paul Jamin - Le MammouthNathaniel Rich writes for the New York Times Magazine that “bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.”

The first time Ben Novak saw a passenger pigeon, he fell to his knees and remained in that position, speechless, for 20 minutes. He was 16. At 13, Novak vowed to devote his life to resurrecting extinct animals. At 14, he saw a photograph of a passenger pigeon in an Audubon Society book and “fell in love.” But he didn’t know that the Science Museum of Minnesota, which he was then visiting with a summer program for North Dakotan high-school students, had them in their collection. He was shocked when he came across a cabinet containing two stuffed pigeons, a male and a female, mounted in lifelike poses. He was overcome by awe, sadness and the birds’ physical beauty: their bright auburn breasts, slate-gray backs and the dusting of iridescence around their napes that, depending on the light and angle, appeared purple, fuchsia or green.

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Scientist Attacked And Severely Injured By The Cloned Cow He Created

cloned cow

They’re coming for us. Via Intellihub News:

54-year-old Professor Park Se-pill of Jeju National University in South Korea was seriously injured after being attacked by a cloned cow that he created in 2009. He has suffered a spinal injury and 5 broken ribs and will need 8 months of treatment before recovering.

The researchers took cells from the ear of a bull before it was butchered in 2008. They kept these cells in cold storage before using them to fertilize eggs which were implanted into a cow.

“Park was video-recording a black cow, which he cloned from species indigenous to Jeju four years ago, and all of a sudden, it charged and attacked him for 15 minutes,” a school official said. “The 800-kilogram black cow is very strong because its cell donor was the best available. Park could not escape easily because he wore a special suit and long boots.”

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Imagine Cloning John Lennon, I Wonder If You Can

rocking-toothThe dentist who purchased John Lennon’s rotten molar for $31,000 at a 2011 auction now has plans for the tooth: He’s getting it genetically sequenced in the hopes of cloning the musician, who died in 1980.

Via NBC:

Dr. Michael Zuk has started up a website, JohnLennonDNA.com and put out a press release with all the gory details.

“I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA, very soon I hope,” Dr. Zuk said in the release. “With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality.”

“To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing,” he added.

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The Resurrection of the Wooly Mammoth

Woolly mammothYou’d think anyone who had watched Jurassic Park would know that this is likely to be a very bad idea, but regardless the scientist who cloned Dolly the Sheep is plotting to use the DNA of the Wooly Mammoth to clone the ancient beast, reports the Guardian:

The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts.

The notional procedure – bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films – was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell scientist, whose team unveiled Dolly as the world’s first cloned mammal in 1996.

Though it is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the same way as Dolly, more modern techniques that convert tissue cells into stem cells could potentially achieve the feat, Wilmut says in an article today for the academic journalism website, The Conversation.

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Scientists Clone Mouse From Single Drop Of Blood

drop of bloodIt starts with a just mouse. But next, Hitler? Via Medical News Today:

For the first time, scientists in Japan have cloned a mouse using just a drop of blood taken from its tail. The result is important because it gives scientists a new way to preserve strains of lab mice for the study of human diseases. It opens the door to a way of producing clones almost as soon as the cells are retrieved, with minimal risk to the donor.

The female clone proved to be fertile by natural mating and lived for 23 months, which is about normal for a lab mouse, researchers from RIKEN BioResource Center in Tsukuba, Japan, report in a paper published online in the journal Biology of Reproduction on 26 June.

Since the world’s first successful reproductive animal cloning that resulted in Dolly the Sheep in 1996, nearly 20 different mammal species have been cloned.

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Japanese Scientists Receive Approval To Create Human-Animal Embryos

human-animal embryos

The Japan Times reports on mixing and matching the components of humans and non-human animals:

Proposed experiments with animal-human embryos cleared the first regulatory hurdle Tuesday as Japanese scientists seek permission for tests that could see human organs produced inside the growing body of an animal.

Researchers want to introduce a human stem cell into an animal embryo, to create a so-called chimeric embryo, which they can implant into an animal’s womb.

The hope is that this stem cell will grow into a fully-functioning human organ — a kidney or a liver, for example — as the animal matures. This would mean when the creature is fully grown, the organ could be harvested from the animal and used for transplanting into a person in need.

Unlike in the United States, there is little public opposition to research of this kind, with domestic media coverage overwhelmingly positive, reflecting relatively high levels of scientific literacy in the country.

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Surrogate Mother Needed For World’s First Cloned Neanderthal Baby

Would you be willing to give birth to a cloned Neanderthal (soon to be a possibility)? And could you love him/her? Gawker writes:

Are you an adventurous human woman? Adventurous enough to be a surrogate mother for the first Neanderthal baby to be born in 30,000 years? Harvard geneticist George Church recently [said] he’s close to developing the necessary technology to clone a Neanderthal, at which point all he’d need is an “adventurous human woman” to act as a surrogate mother.

What would that entail? Neanderthal birth was simpler than human birth, because Neanderthal infants didn’t have to rotate to get to the birth canal, but otherwise the processes were very similar. Once the baby’s out, you’re in good shape — Neanderthal babies are thought to have grown much more quickly than their human counterparts.

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Brazil To Clone Animals In Danger Of Extinction

After our planet’s climate drastically changes, the wildlife of today will exist in cloned form in tomorrow’s zoos, Inter Press Service reports:

Brazilian scientists are attempting to clone animals in danger of extinction, like the jaguar and maned wolf, although the potential impact on the conservation of these threatened species is still not clear.

The cloning initiative is being undertaken by the Brasilia Zoological Garden in partnership with the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, EMBRAPA, and is now in its second phase. “We already have 420 germplasm samples stored in our bank and are going to continue collecting,” [said] EMBRAPA researcher Carlos Frederico Martins.

Eight animals have been chosen, including the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). The bank has also been stocked with germplasm from the bush dog (Speothos venaticus), coati (genus Nasua), collared anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), gray brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira) and bison (genus Bison).

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How To Clone Animals

Vice visits a clone farm to see the process at work. For now, the intended result is to establish a way of creating superior livestock which are resistant to disease. But perhaps in a few decades this will serve as a look at how babies are made:

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