This Plan to Bring Back an Extinct Ice-Age Horse Species Is an Extreme Long Shot, Scientists Say

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
This Plan to Bring Back an Extinct Ice-Age Horse Species Is an Extreme Long Shot, Scientists Say

A mummified foal that lived between 30,000 and 40,000 years in the past is fantastically preserved, however intact DNA should be elusive.

Credit: Michil Yakovlev/The Siberian Times

A staff of scientists in Siberia is hopeful mummified 40,000-year-old child horse can present important genetic materials for cloning the extinct ice-age species.

But consultants advised Live Science that they’re skeptical that the scientists will probably be in a position to discover viable DNA on the physique in any respect, not to mention overcome the large challenges of cloning a species that is been extinct for millennia.

The preserved foal’s physique was discovered in August and was excavated from melting permafrost within the Batagaika crater in Yakutia, a area in japanese Russia. Researchers working with the frozen stays recently told The Siberian Times that they’re investigating whether or not the stays will yield dwelling cells that could possibly be used to clone the traditional child horse. [See Photos of the Perfectly Preserved Ice-Age Foal]

According to The Siberian Times, one of many scientists concerned within the evaluation of the mummified horse is Woo-Suk Hwang, a stem-cell researcher and cloning pioneer from South Korea. Hwang, a former professor at South Korea’s Seoul National University, got here beneath hearth in 2006 for falsifying knowledge, and was convicted three years later of bioethical violations and embezzlement, Nature reported in 2009. He now helms Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, a South Korean firm that researches and performs animal cloning — primarily canine, Live Science previously reported.

Scientists from Russia and South Korea — together with Hwang — are already collaborating in an try to clone a woolly mammoth, and they’re now exploring the opportunity of extracting dwelling cells from the preserved horse, which might probably be used to create a clone, Hwang advised The Siberian Times.

“If we find only one live cell, we can clone this ancient horse,” Hwang stated. “We can multiply it and get as many embryos as we need.”

A mummified foal that lived between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago is superbly preserved, but intact DNA may still be elusive.

A mummified foal that lived between 30,000 and 40,000 years in the past is fantastically preserved, however intact DNA should be elusive.

Credit: Michil Yakovlev/The Siberian Times

 

An extinct horse might show simpler to clone than a mammoth as a result of a contemporary horse might function the embryo’s surrogate, whereas a cloned mammoth embryo would want to be implanted in a feminine elephant, Hwang defined. Elephants are in the identical household as extinct mammoths, however they aren’t shut relations — so a cloned “mammoth” would extra possible be a genetically engineered elephant-mammoth hybrid, he stated.

Nevertheless, cloning an extinct ice-age horse could possibly be a step towards cloning a mammoth, as “it will help us to work out the technology,” Hwang advised The Siberian Times.

However, a number of scientists who weren’t concerned with the evaluation of the foal expressed doubts that it might be doable to efficiently clone the mummified horse. 

“Many of [the] same challenges will be faced here as with attempts to clone mammoths,” Beth Shapiro, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology on the University of California, Santa Cruz, advised Live Science in an electronic mail.

Cloning is feasible solely when the unique animal’s DNA is unbroken, and the bulk — if not all — of the DNA in ice-age specimens is often degraded “into tens of millions of pieces,” Love Dalén, a professor of evolutionary genetics on the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, advised Live Science in an electronic mail.

If sufficient DNA from the mummified horse’s stays might be recovered, scientists may give you the option to assemble a genome sequence by evaluating the DNA of the extinct foal to the genomes of dwelling horses, Shapiro added.

But the possibility of discovering an undamaged nucleus with an intact genome, or perhaps a frozen cell that could possibly be recovered, “is astronomical,” Vincent Lynch, an assistant professor within the Department of Human Genetics on the University of Chicago, advised Live Science in an electronic mail.

“Scientists rarely say something is impossible, but it is certainly approaching it,” Lynch stated.

Original article on Live Science.



Source link

Share.

Comments are closed.