Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Unfrozen Caveman Mouse

Okay, so maybe the mouse wasn't a caveman. But still, Japanese scientists have successfully cloned a mouse that had been frozen for sixteen years (since the Flannel Era, as archaeologists call it). They used a technique called nucleus transfer, whereby they swapped a nucleus from one of the frozen mouse's cells with that of a living mouse's egg call. Being a creepy clone hasn't apparently stifled the unfrozen caveman mouse's social skills, as he's successfully reproduced with a female. Obviously, this research just makes us pine all the more for a day when we can create cloned herds of prehistoric beasts that eventually escape our control and teach us all a lesson about playing god. But that's a tricky proposition. To create a cloned woolly mammoth, for instance, you'd need to carry the clone to term in a modern elephant. And I imagine the birth video would be pretty freaky. More details here.

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