Off topic: First cloned horse born ...
Thread poster: Rozafa
Rozafa
Albanian to English
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Aug 6, 2003

Aug. 6 — Scientists in Italy say they have created the world’s first cloned horse, raising the possibility of a sequel to the next Seabiscuit or a carbon copy of Kentucky Derby champion Funny Cide.

THE SMALL, sturdy work horse is now 2 months old, weighs about 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and is in excellent health, said its creators. Their announcement beats a Texas A&M team awaiting the birth of its own horse clone.
The cloned Haflinger horse is named Prometea after Prometheus, the character in Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans.
In a twist for the growing barnyard of cloned animals, the Haflinger mare that gave birth to the Promotea was also the source of her DNA, meaning she and her foal are, in a sense, identical twins. The researchers said their success challenged the view that a mother might not be able to bear her own clone due to immunological factors.
Now that horse-cloning has arrived, it could allow the replication of valuable horses or endangered breeds, said Cesare Galli, director of the Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona, Italy.
“The most obvious use is to give a sterile animal or animals that die or can’t breed because of some disease a chance to reproduce,” Galli said.
The cloning details are described in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

CLONE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
Prometea was born just two weeks after the first member of the equine family — a mule — was cloned at the University of Idaho. Researchers there have since produced two more cloned mules, which are a hybrid of a donkey and a horse.
Scientific differences in the two cloning projects are striking.
The mules were cloned from cells extracted from developing mule fetuses. But Prometea’s DNA came from her adult mother’s skin cells. Cloning adult DNA has proven more difficult than copying fetal DNA.

There were other differences. The Idaho team harvested fertile eggs, one at a time, from mares. They then removed the nucleus of each egg and inserted DNA from cells of a mule fetus. Those reconstructed eggs were surgically implanted into the wombs of female horses.
Galli’s team, however, harvested hundreds of eggs from mare carcasses at a slaughterhouse. They cultured the eggs, removed their DNA and replaced it with DNA taken from either adult male or female horse skin cells.
Out of a total of 841 reconstructed embryos, only 22 developed to advanced embryos within about a week. Seventeen of those were introduced into nine mares, resulting in four pregnancies, but only one, Prometea, developed to full term.
It was delivered naturally and unassisted on May 28.
To date, horses, mules, sheep, cows, pigs, cats and rodents have been cloned. No primates have been cloned. Their cases have raised questions about clones’ health.
Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, was euthanized this year after she contracted a common livestock disease and her cells showed signs of premature aging.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:08
English to Spanish
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And now for something completely different... Aug 7, 2003

Ah... too bad nothing controversial can be posted in these forums.

This thread showed real potential for a level-headed, down-to-earth discussion about cloning and its moral and legal consequences.


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:08
German to English
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Short Discussion Aug 7, 2003

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

Ah... too bad nothing controversial can be posted in these forums.

This thread showed real potential for a level-headed, down-to-earth discussion about cloning and its moral and legal consequences.


Well, this topic causes chills and probably chokes a few of us.

Before Dolly was cloned, the potential of deleterious effects on health were expected. Dolly did not only develop a lifestock disease. The poor sheep showed clear signs of arthritis at 4 months of age! (Nobody blasted those news all over the world.)

Our media are too hungry for sensation and show a disturbing lack of critical thinking. This type of research is neither reasonable nor impressive:

Bacteria have had cloning down pat for Millions of years. When compared with asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction speeds up development and adaptation - hence its success in nature. Some scientists must have skipped that class and gone to a SciFi flick instead.


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:08
English to Swedish
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Think! Aug 8, 2003

Dear Ursula,

Guns don’t kill, people do.

Knowledge does not cause ”deleterious effects”, people’s misuse of knowledge does.

Arrogant and ignorant statements like “When compared with asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction speeds up development and adaptation - hence its success in nature.” do not convince.

Or do you really think virus is an unsuccessful life form?


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:08
German to English
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This is about Ethics Aug 8, 2003

Sven Petersson wrote:

Dear Ursula,

Guns don’t kill, people do.

Knowledge does not cause ”deleterious effects”, people’s misuse of knowledge does.

Arrogant and ignorant statements like “When compared with asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction speeds up development and adaptation - hence its success in nature.” do not convince.

Or do you really think virus is an unsuccessful life form?


Not all experiments result in more scientific knowledge.

(If virus is a life form it is a very low one. This has nothing to do with this topic. This is also true for the gun statement.}

The topic is about ethics in science, not the pursuit of knowledge. So you can put a mule's DNA into a cows egg, implant it in a horse and have it give birth*. (I did not make this up, it has been done!)

In evolution, sexual reproduction is the more advanced concept. Not even the people who clone higher life forms would dispute that.

What specific knowledge do you expect from cloning race horses? Do I trust that those "scientists" have thought this through to the end?

NO!

* BTW: The horse gave birth to a mule.
Surprise!



[Edited at 2003-08-09 09:30]


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Pablo Cañamares  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 16:08
Russian to Spanish
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Scientist think capitalist Aug 11, 2003

I do not think that scientist do experiments just for the sake of it, I mean, someone pays them, someone who wants results.

Not just short term profits, there is a lot of investigation now being done which might not have any short term application, but some great breakthroughs originate there.

More to the point, it is fine for me that they extend their knowledge in cloning, genetics and so. Personally, I was elated to know of all the therapeutic uses that could be developed.

The drawback: it may sound sci-fi, but trust me I fear the day when governments begin to engineer humans for particular purposes. Not to mention when they turn that knowledge into weapons...


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