Almost Jurassic Park

When learning about genetic sequencing and the genome, the most common thought that comes to mind is clones. Cloning is the process in which copies of DNA fragments, cells or organisms are created. When thinking of clones there is only one though going through my head. Jurassic Park. I researched this and found out that in 2003 scientists have successfully cloned an extinct animal. But before you start thinking of riding dinosaurs in the future, you must hear the parameters of the situation.

The animal cloned was an extinct mountain goat called a bucardo. This mountain goat was only able to be cloned, because they had samples of this extinct animals DNA. Upon the death of one of Earth’s last bucardo’s, scientists took several skin tissue samples and preserved them. They preserved these skin cells by keeping them in liquid nitrogen at an approximate temperature of -321 degrees Fahrenheit.

This cloned mountain goat was a great achievement in scientific history and was the first successful de-extinction of an animal. However, the clone, Celia, died shortly after birth due to a not fully developed lung. The cloning of this animal is very difficult, because they one have one DNA sample, from a lone female. Dr Fernandez-Arias mentions this story in a related the story in a TEDx talk about de-extinction.

There are several options scientists are considering to create a lasting clone. They can either cross breed the DNA with other Ibex of similar characteristics, and then using selective breeding to bring out the traits closest to a bucardo. Another option scientists are considering is changing the gender during embryonic development. Researchers have been able to change the sex of a mouse in the embryo using the introduction of a specific gene.

Although de-extinction is close to success, dinosaurs do not appear to be roaming the Earth again any time soon. Scientists still have many issues to work out with cloning extinct species and most of this depends upon the DNA samples they were able to preserve. Considering no scientists were alive during the time of Dinosaurs, this method does not seem possible to recreate dinosaurs.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

This entry was written by Dane J. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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