What ewe lookin' at, bitch?Awww, snap! Those wacky, mad scientists are at it again. Check out this story from the Telegraph (click here to read the story on their site, or read it below). ANCESTOR-style genetics in full effect. Story submitted to the FDO by Martyn Darkly.

By Richard Gray and Roger Dobson
Last Updated: 11:47PM GMT 31 Jan 2009

The Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain.

Shortly before its death, scientists preserved skin samples of the goat, a subspecies of the Spanish ibex that live in mountain ranges across the country, in liquid nitrogen.

Using DNA taken from these skin samples, the scientists were able to replace the genetic material in eggs from domestic goats, to clone a female Pyrenean ibex, or bucardo as they are known. It is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Sadly, the newborn ibex kid died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs. Other cloned animals, including sheep, have been born with similar lung defects.

But the breakthrough has raised hopes that it will be possible to save endangered and newly extinct species by resurrecting them from frozen tissue.

It has also increased the possibility that it will one day be possible to reproduce long-dead species such as woolly mammoths and even dinosaurs.

Dr Jose Folch, from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, led the research along with colleagues from the National Research Institute of Agriculture and Food in Madrid.

He said: "The delivered kid was genetically identical to the bucardo. In species such as bucardo, cloning is the only possibility to avoid its complete disappearance."

Pyrenean ibex, which have distinctive curved horns, were once common in northern Spain and in the French Pyrenees, but extensive hunting during the 19th century reduced their numbers to fewer than 100 individuals.

They were eventually declared protected in 1973, but by 1981 just 30 remained in their last foothold in the Ordesa National Park in the Aragon District of the Pyrenees.

The last bucardo, a 13-year-old female known as Celia, was found dead in January 2000 by park rangers near the French border with her skull crushed.

Dr Folch and his colleagues, who were funded by the Aragon regional government, had, however, captured the bucardo the previous year and had taken a tissue sample from her ear for cryopreservation.

Using techniques similar to those used to clone Dolly the sheep, known as nuclear transfer, the researchers were able to transplant DNA from the tissue into eggs taken from domestic goats to create 439 embryos, of which 57 were implanted into surrogate females.

Just seven of the embryos resulted in pregnancies and only one of the goats finally gave birth to a female bucardo, which died a seven minutes later due to breathing difficulties, perhaps due to flaws in the DNA used to create the clone.

Despite the highly inefficient cloning process and death of the cloned bucardo, many scientists believe similar approaches may be the only way to save critically endangered species from disappearing.

Research carried out by Japanese geneticist Teruhiko Wakayama raised hopes that even species that died out long ago could be resurrected after he used cells taken from mice frozen 16 years ago to produce healthy clones.

But attempts to bring back species such as woolly mammoths and even the Dodo are fraught with difficulties. Even when preserved in ice, DNA degrades over time and this leaves gaps in the genetic information required to produce a healthy animal.

Scientists, however, last year published a near-complete genome of the woolly mammoth, which died out around 10,000 years ago, sparking speculation it will be possible to synthesise the mammoth DNA.

Professor Robert Miller, director the Medical Research Council's Reproductive Sciences Unit at Edinburgh University, is working with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland on a project to use cloning on rare African mammals including the northern white rhino.

They have set up the Institute for Breeding Rare and Endangered African Mammals in the hope of using breeding technologies to conserve species including the Ethiopian wolf, the African wild dog and the pygmy hippo.

Professor Millar said: "I think this is an exciting advance as it does show the potential of being able to regenerate extinct species.

"Clearly there is some way to go before it can be used effectively, but the advances in this field are such that we will see more and more solutions to the problems faced."

A number of projects around the world are now attempting to store tissue and DNA from endangered species. The Zoological Society of London and the Natural History Museum have set up the Frozen Ark project in a bid to preserve DNA from thousands of animals before they disappear entirely.

 

18 Comments

On Edited

Cloning

Great idea for fiction,

bad idea for practice.

 

On Edited

Unless you want to clone little pomeranians ...

Then it's cool, unless they have a sail-fin popping out of their back ...
On Edited

Nope

$155,000 is a bit too steep for me. Besides, KoKo was one of an original. No Xerox could take his place.

 

On Edited

How would that be bad? You'd

How would that be bad? You'd never have to worry about your dog getting into a fight, as the fin would probably scare the opposer away.
On Edited

Damn!

Why couldn't they have brought back the quagga from extinction?!  Then the FDO would not only have been prophectic with the novel Ancestor but also accurate to the species!
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--Gmork (MP, CA, WC, TG, MoGC, AAGC, PWTG, TBG)
On Edited

wild

sci-fi becoming reality.

 

so freaking cool

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On Edited

Oh, that's coming soon ...

Trust me.
On Edited

or maybe a small

 army of FDO's. Think of all the work and mayhem you could do! :)

 

"Chief informationless officer of the office of knows nothing" Any questions? :)


KISS'd by Sigler
. Honored recipient of the 2009 "Iron Man" Award.
*Member of the Wolfpack* Funky Name Brotha, Gutter Brethren & Pusher Thrice Over!

On Edited

great stuff

I would love a pet dino!
On Edited

but like all good things

one is plenty. a back up is great more than that and they just get underfoot. 

or try to kill the original.

 

i think that happened with Ba'al on stargate SG1 

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On Edited

Do you think there are "experiments" being done secretly?

Since "they" know how to clone and have done it with pets and sheep... don't you think some mad and rouge group are in a lab somewhere actually creating human clones? I am sure of it....both of me. *I am the Rear Admiral but Sigler gives the Orders*
*I am the Rear Admiral but Sigler gives the Orders*
On Edited

evil twin

so that evil twin could become a reality?

 

if you find out where let me know, I could really use a twin... 

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On Edited

No question

There is no question it's being done somewhere, probably several somewheres. Just a question of money, really.
On Edited

To be used as

bait to distract and attract the possible, though few, rivals of FDO. Once the traiterous scum show their true colors they will then be crushed under the heel of the true FDO!

"Chief informationless officer of the office of knows nothing" Any questions? :)


KISS'd by Sigler
. Honored recipient of the 2009 "Iron Man" Award.
*Member of the Wolfpack* Funky Name Brotha, Gutter Brethren & Pusher Thrice Over!

On Edited

cool

LIke that one. distraction and fodder.
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On Edited

:o

A Stargate reference!?  I thought my fam and I were the only ones who watched - it was better on Showtime. Wink

 

Wasn't there a woman who was cloned? (Or did I inhale something nasty from my workplace's ventilation system??



DO NOT INSULT THE GODLING, QUENTIN BARNES, OR HE WILL MAKE THE APOCALYPSE DESCEND UPON YOU!
On Edited

I'm sure there was.

I too cannot remember.

 

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I AM not just junkie, I AM a pusher man (5000 and climbing) & I AM Sadocks Tangent Brother.

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On Edited

Found it!

The New York Times printed a very short story about a doctor who claimed to have 3 women who were pregnant with clones. The story is short and it's likely there was some mountian-making of some very tiny molehills.

 

I didn't realize it was from 6 years ago!



DO NOT INSULT THE GODLING, QUENTIN BARNES, OR HE WILL MAKE THE APOCALYPSE DESCEND UPON YOU!

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