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Science & Technology

Efforts renewed to clone extinct goat

November 24, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments



Can science bring extinct species back to life ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Spanish scientists are redoubling their efforts to clone the bucardo which died out 13 years ago.
The bucardo, an extinct mountain goat that is a sub-species of the ibex, has been the subject of cloning experiments ever since the last known living specimen was killed in a freak accident when a tree fell on it at the National Park of Ordesa in Spain.

In 2003, scientists had managed to successfully produce a cloned bucardo calf but it sadly died after only a few minutes due to a lung defect. Now renewed efforts are underway to analyze the feasibility of using preserved cells to have another shot at bringing this extinct species back to life.
Even if the team manages to clone a live bucardo that survives birth however the road to a full re-population of these animals will be a difficult one. With only the cells of a single female specimen it won't be possible to produce any male goats without the use of pioneering genetic modification techniques. Creating a viable population of the animals from a single individual could also prove to be a significant challenge.

Despite the odds however there is still hope. If the team can successfully perfect the cloning process it is not outside the realm of possibility that the bucardo could roam the mountains once more, paving the way for the "de-extinction" of many more species to come.

Source: BBC News | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hilander 9 years ago
I really don't understand bringing this goat back. Has his habitat returned?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Eldorado 9 years ago
I really don't understand bringing this goat back. Has his habitat returned? According to my shepherd sources it was a particularly sexy goat.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Dave From Down Under 9 years ago
"According to my shepherd sources it was a particularly sexy goat." Getting your goat up is one thing, but getting up your goat is a whole new ball game...
Comment icon #4 Posted by DieChecker 9 years ago
I never thought about it before, but it makes sense that you couldn't bring back an entire species without male AND female DNA.
Comment icon #5 Posted by calaf 9 years ago
Do we not first ask why it became extinct?
Comment icon #6 Posted by DieChecker 9 years ago
Do we not first ask why it became extinct? Probably their horns are an Asian medicine.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
I never thought about it before, but it makes sense that you couldn't bring back an entire species without male AND female DNA. You could mate it with its closest relative, it might not give you a pure species, but when you mate two different but related species you often get something called "hybrid vigor"; the offspring is sometimes more robust than either parent species. It might be a better survivor than the original species that died out. I am no geneticist and don't know if the technology exists or is advanced enough, but I wonder if you had a male instead of a female if it is possible t... [More]


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