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BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Endangered animal clone produced

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
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Endangered animal clone produced
Africa Americas Asia-Pacific Europe Middle EastSouth Asia UK Business Health Science/Nature Technology Entertainment ----------------Have Your Say ----------------Country Profiles In Depth ----------------Programmes ----------------RELATED SITESScientists say they have created a "healthy" clone of an endangered species. The baby banteng - a type of wild cattle found in south-east Asia - was born a week ago and appears to be normal. Thescientists involved say it proves that cloning does have a part to play in preserving species which may soon be extinct.

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The surviving banteng seems to be thriving

But others are still highly dubious, arguing that preservation ofdiminishing habitats would be a more effective way to approach the problem. 'Surrogate mothers' Scientists from Advanced Cell Technology, in Worcester, Massachusetts, US, created the clone using DNAfrom frozen banteng cells kept by San Diego Wild Animal Park. The researchers inserted this DNA into eggs from ordinary domestic cows, and also used cows as "surrogate mothers" to carry the embryos toterm. From 30 embryos created, two calves were born. One was abnormal and was put down, but the scientists in charge say the other seems to be thriving. This is not the first attempt to cloneendangered animals using domestic species. Two years ago a gaur, a type of wild ox, was cloned by ACT, but it died within a couple of days.

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