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Biotech Science Idle

"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog 154

cylonlover writes "Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The 'Lazarus Project' team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring."
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"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog

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  • by johnnyb ( 4816 ) <> on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:02AM (#43202619) Homepage

    It will be interesting to see how effective this is. DNA is not the sole source of information for an organism's morphology. Nuclear transfer has shown some traits which are not dependent on DNA. It will be very interesting to compare the morphology of the final organism to the original, extinct species.

  • DNA bottlenecks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kpoole55 ( 1102793 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:04AM (#43202645)

    As with jaguars, this will be considered one of the worst DNA bottlenecks of all time depending, of course, on how many specimens he kept and how many can become viable. If only the one then they'll all be clones even if they start breeding on their own. just think, we may produce thousands of these in a controlled environment only to have them wiped out completely when they run into a bacteria, virus or fungus to which they have no resistance but some other variant member of the species might. it would kill them all and we'd have to start from scratch. Such will be the case with the Tasmanian tiger as well, a wonderful achievement at bringing back an extinct species and with all the fragility of fine porcelain to be kept safe, admired and protected from any outside danger.

    Yes, I know there are spontaneous mutations but they take time and these specimens likely won't have that time.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:18AM (#43202771)
    You're not offended at roman mythological names for the planets, are you? Science isn't endorsing or promoting these religions, they're merely referencing them. "Project to bring a frog back from extinction" or "Jurribbit park" aren't as memorable. At least, not in a good way.
  • Intelligent Design (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CMYKjunkie ( 1594319 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:23AM (#43202813)
    In all of the arguments between evolution vs intelligent design as to why creatures exist, it's interesting to see how humans seem to be able to take on the role of intelligent designer to decide what species will not become or remain extinct from evolution. One can imagine a future where many creatures on the planet are "designed" to exist. Meaning, humans decide to re-breed (re-institute? re-animate?) extinct species while deciding others should be allowed to remain extinct.

    Of course: WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:43AM (#43202963)

    There are no such arguments.
    Intelligent design is just a smoke screen to get creationism into schools.

  • by dittbub ( 2425592 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:44AM (#43202971)
    indeed. i'd be more comfortable if they were cloning dinosaurs. the big ones we have a hard time NOT killing off.
  • by mjr167 ( 2477430 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @10:45AM (#43202979)
    To constantly have your religion shoved down our throats is intellectual oppression. You cannot erase 2000+ years of history. To attempt to remove all references of it is to do a disservice to yourself. Accept the fact that the mythology you loath is an important part of our culture and shut the fuck up.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine