Extinct ibex brought back to life by cloning

February 1st, 2009 - 11:59 am ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 1 (ANI): Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, has been resurrected for the first time after being cloned from frozen tissue.

The animal was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain, reports the Telegraph.

But shortly before its death, researchers preserved skin samples of the goat a subspecies of the Spanish ibex that live in mountain ranges across the country in liquid nitrogen.

By using DNA taken from the skin samples, the scientists were able to replace the genetic material in eggs from domestic goats, to clone a female Pyrenean ibex.

It is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned.

Sadly, the newborn ibex kid died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs. Other cloned animals, including sheep, have been born with similar lung defects.

The breakthrough has raised hopes that it will be possible to save endangered and newly extinct species by resurrecting them from frozen tissue.

Along with colleagues from the National Research Institute of Agriculture and Food in Madrid, Dr Jose Folch, from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, led the research.

He said: “The delivered kid was genetically identical to the bucardo. In species such as bucardo, cloning is the only possibility to avoid its complete disappearance.” (ANI)

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