26 March 2007

Snuwolf and Snuwolffy

Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus)

Here's some interesting news. Scientists in Korea have successfully cloned two wolves. Although the wolves were born about a year and a half ago, the news was not released until recently. The scientists from Seoul National University (SNU) are former collaborators of the disgraced Dr. Hwang (he allegedly faked some of his human stem cell research), who is on trial for, for embezzlement, fraud and violations of bioethics law. Although there are still some doubters that the wolves are clones, others hold that scientists who were close to such scandal would not announce such news if it weren't true, and that no journal would accept it without excellent evidence. Cloning and Stemcells, a high-ranking journal on cloning has accepted the paper.

Although the Gray Wolf isn't technically endangered worldwide, some subspecies and subpopulations are vulnerable or even extinct in the wild. Still, it's possible that this research might one day lead to cloning as another tool in the conservationists arsenal for saving endangered species. Although it wouldn't necessarily be able to increase the genetic pool of small populations, it could still help to increase the individuals of species with very small numbers.

Do you have an opinion? Do you think that cloning is an avenue of research worth pursuing, or should the money be spent on other more proven conservation methods.

1 comment:

Garfman said...

If we can get it to work, I'm all for cloning to save endangered species. Doesn't help genetic bottleneck, though