Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Cloning of animals: where do we stand?

By knl9j Jun10,2024

The animal letter. Since cloning a frog in the 1950s and Dolly the sheep in 1996, 55 species have been cloned. Should we worry?

Will the Olympics have cloned horses? My knowledge is no, yet regulation allows it. International Equestrian Federation allows cloned horses since 2013. The minimum age to compete is nine, which partly explains why the Olympics feature no cloned horses. Clone prospects may be a few years old and not meet the age requirements. Luc Hardy, polo rider and scientific investigator, predicts clones in dressage and competitions in Los Angeles in four years.

He filmed in Argentina, the US, Russia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Italy, where the first cloned horse was born in 2003, for five years. His documentary Alter Ego: Cloning, the age of reason?, shown at the Society of French Explorers a few weeks ago, takes us into a world of questions and promises.

“It’s a fascinating subject that continues to spark debate in the scientific world,” says this engineer from the École centrale de Paris, business angel, and strong environmentalist visiting Paris for the Unesco presentation of its other documentary Ice Giants: Discovering the Karakoram on June 11 and a round table on climate change’s effects on glaciers.

Neck and lip Botox injections

In his documentary, Luc Hardy discusses the pros and cons of cloning, even if Europe has banned it for ethical concerns. Argentina has many cloned polo horses that win major tournaments.

In this country, where horses are valuable, cloning is popular. The current generation of polo riders relies on clones of their favorite horses to win. Having a clone can reassure nervous riders about new horses. This guarantees the animal will know what to do.

Camels are cloned in the Middle East for elite races, beauty contests, and mass milk production, earning millions of dollars. A “model” camel costs $2–$5 million. “It is tempting to want to clone a beautiful specimen rather than prolong its career by making it undergo operations,” says Luc Hardy. Twelve competitors were eliminated in 2018 after obtaining botox injections in their necks and lips to make them look plumper.

Saving endangered species through cloning

Frogs, horses, dogs, cats, camels, macaques, ferrets, and skunks are among the 55 animal species cloned. Birds are hard to clone. Bird eggs have opaque yolks. Cloning is more complicated since fifty thousand cells have formed by the time an egg is laid.

Cloning isn’t simply for performance or pet replacement. This method can save endangered animals and restore genetic variety.

Only about 2,000 Przewalski’s horses remain in the wild. The Frozen Zoo in San Diego stores tissue samples from a horse from 40 years ago, and scientists have recovered its DNA. This genetic material was added to an enucleated horse egg. A little electric shock started development, then it was implanted in a surrogate mother till maturity. Normal pregnancy led to Kurt’s birth a year later.

He will be introduced into a group to reproduce in a few years. The biggest revelation is this market’s transparency. Although confidential, it is not hidden. Large-scale industry. I was surprised by the number and advancement of cloned animal species. Over the past decade, learning and practices have improved greatly. Six years ago, these labs said cloning required 300 tests. They say they get similar results for horses and dogs as with natural pregnancies.

Genetically engineered embryo clones

Combining conventional cloning with CRISPR-Cas9, molecular scissors, allows researchers to remove a DNA sequence in cells of the animal to be cloned and replace it with that of another subject. Cheaper, faster, and less error-prone, this method is promoted. It allows horses to have both the original’s genetics and new traits.

Genetically modified embryos produced seven clones last December. Some of the cloned horse’s speed and strength genes have been altered. If all goes well and the pregnancy reaches term, the clones produced at the end of the year will be stronger and faster. This approach is being tested on macaques. They can be cloned to test medications on each clone after having their DNA edited to have a deficit or sickness.

Researchers can limit genetic variability, identify medical treatment effects, increase repeatability, and employ fewer animals. Luc Hardy, accompanied by ancient DNA expert Ludovic Orlando, wants to believe in human cloning if it is adequately overseen and does not respond to imaginative or hilarious. This doesn’t always happen. Texas creates deer clones for trophy hunting.

By knl9j

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