Japanese Scientists Clone Mice Frozen for 16 Years—Mammoths Next?

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Teruhiko Wakayama and his colleagues at the Institution Laboratory for Genomic Reprogramming in Japan have reported that they were able to create clones of mice that had been frozen for 16 years. According to U.S. News & World Report:

Wakayama…and his colleagues took brain tissue from a mouse strain frozen at minus 20 degrees Celsius for up to 16 years and transferred the nuclei (containing the genetic material) to empty egg cells.

These two-cell embryos were used to generate embryonic stem cell lines that resulted in 12 healthy cloned mice, which grew into normal adults.

The technique did not require nuclei from an intact donor cell. The cloning efficiency was about the same as using conventional cloning methods, the study authors stated….

Until now, researchers had believed that ice crystals formed in frozen cells would cause irreparable damage to the DNA, making cloning of long-dead animals impossible.

Wakayama told U.S. News that cloning a wooly mammoth from frozen remains from the Arctic tundra is "probably impossible."

http://www.farnorthscience.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/mammoth1.jpg

Wakayama was apparently a bit more hopeful when he talked with The New Scientist:

The finding also raises hopes of one day being able to resurrect extinct animals frozen in permafrost, such as the woolly mammoth, says Teruhiko Wakayama of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, who led the research. "It would be very difficult, but our work suggests that it is no longer science fiction," he says….

Resurrecting extinct animals would be far trickier. Woolly mammoth carcasses would most likely have frozen and thawed several times over the aeons, which would cause far more damage to the nucleus than a one-off freezing.

Potentially easier would be cloning cryogenically frozen humans, though the consensus among cloning experts is that it would be unethical and dangerous to clone a human. In any case, people who sign up to be cryogenically preserved usually hope to be resuscitated rather than cloned.

The U.S. News report can be found here and The New Scientist report is here

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  1. “They saved Hitler’s cock”

  2. In any case, people who sign up to be cryogenically preserved usually hope to be resuscitated rather than cloned.

    “Usually”?

  3. “Wooly mammoths? We were hoping to clone a giant radioactive liz – uh, I mean wooly mammoth. A cuddly one. That’s the ticket. Heh, heh.”

  4. You know what this means.

    We can kill off all the species we want, make some hardcore technological progress, then bring the dead species back once we have clean technology and all that jazz.

  5. I haven’t yet RTFA, but I’d say based on the picture alone that there’s something wrong with that mouse clone.

  6. Look, I hate to even bring it up since I know how important frozen mice are to the Movement, but perhaps some of the “libertarians” at Reason might take note of the fact that a U.S. Senator appears to have let slip that there would be an attempt to drive their opponents off the air under the regime that Reason supports.

  7. We can kill off all the species we want, make some hardcore technological progress, then bring the dead species back once we have clean technology and all that jazz.

    Clearly. After all, It’s not like those species live in unfathomably complicated systems of interdependence with each other and with other factors in the environment.

  8. Wakayama told U.S. News that cloning a wooly mammoth from frozen remains from the Arctic tundra is “probably impossible.”

    Clarke’s First Law

    When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    Teruhiko Wakayama is not elderly but I thought the Clarke quote appropriate anyway.

  9. Also, LoneWacko, could you be a sport and NOT spam the threads that have nothing even tangentially to do with what you care about?

    That would be great.

  10. Click here for twenty reasons why BHO would be a disaster

    Is that lonewackodoodle?

  11. LMNOP, but that would make it harder to parody him.

  12. I haven’t yet RTFA, but I’d say based on the picture alone that there’s something wrong with that mouse clone.

    :^)

    They are gonna use the cloned mouse to scare the mammoth back to life.

  13. They are gonna use the cloned mouse to scare the mammoth back to life.

    Neu,
    You think Micoureus alstoni might work be better suited for that task?

  14. I actually think this could be a good thing.

  15. Look, I hate to even bring it up

    No, you closeted homosexual, you do not.

  16. Cloning extinct elephantine species to bring them back to life?

    There’s hope for the GOP yet!

  17. Cloning extinct elephantine species to bring them back to life?

    There’s hope for the GOP yet!

    Aresen, do you want to bring Nixon back to kick around some more?

  18. But will they be able to clone my wife’s frozen libido.

  19. You’d think the Japanese would have learned something from their experiences with Godzilla.

  20. A healthy dose of “electricity” should revive the infantile mammoth.

    Just keep those torches handy.

  21. I’m confused. Is the above photo a picture of a mammoth, an elephant, or the blue ribbon giant potato from some state fair?

  22. Ahhh yes, mammoth burgers at Fuddruckers!

  23. The picture above is of a Giant Land Kochtopus. Also, t appears my sources misled me on the story above; Menendez might not have said anything questionable in regards to the FairnessDoctrine.

    It’s pretty pathetic that this is Reason’s last post the day before the Coronation of their candidate.

  24. Look, I hate to even bring it up since I know how important frozen mice are to the Movement, but perhaps some of the “libertarians” at Reason might take note of the fact that a U.S. Senator appears to have let slip that there would be an attempt to drive their opponents off the air under the regime that Reason supports.

    Lonewacko in two words.

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