Biotechnicians Hope Future Cloning Will Save Endangered Animals

Biotechnicians want to use cloning to save endangered species, but they are having only limited success. Critics say that the push toward a new era of wildlife conservation trivializes extinction and funding would be better spent on preserving animal habitats. A number of times each week, Martha Gómez creates new life. Today, she has set out to produce a South African black-footed cat. Using a razor-thin hollow needle under a microscope, the veterinarian injects a body cell from the endangered species into an enucleated egg cell taken from a house cat. Then she applies an electric current… Biotechnicians like Gómez are hoping for a new era of wildlife conservation. In a bid to save endangered species, they tear down biological barriers and create embryos that contain cell material from two different species of mammals. Iberian lynxes, tigers, Ethiopian wolves and panda bears could all soon be carried to term by related surrogate mothers, and thus saved for future generations.” w/ photos

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