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Cloning

If you thought cloning mice, frogs and extinct mammoths to be challenging, how about cloning Vincent Van Gogh's ear? Dutch artist Diemut Strebe has grown a living replica of the ear that Vincent Van Gogh reportedly sliced off in a troubled episode, using genetic material from one of Van Gogh's direct descendants. With a lifespan of 80 years or more, the ear could live as long as any one of us, says Strebe, who is investigating the idea of replicating people from historical DNA. Read More
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. Read More
Using the technique that created Dolly the sheep, researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, have identified a way to produce healthy mouse clones that live a normal lifespan and can be sequentially cloned indefinitely. In an experiment that started in 2005, the team led by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama has used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SNCT) to produce 581 clones of one original "donor" mouse through 25 consecutive rounds of cloning. Read More
According to a recent report on Sky News, Chinese scientists have created a herd of 300 transgenic dairy cattle, all of which have been genetically modified to produce human breast milk. While the milk is still undergoing government testing, the researchers reportedly hope to be selling it in supermarkets within three years. Read More
The last known mammoth lived around 4500 years ago, but if scientists in Japan are successful then we might be able to meet one soon! Research to resurrect these awesome creatures was shelved when cell nuclei taken from a sample from Siberia were found to be too badly damaged, however a scientific breakthrough in Kobe successfully cloned a mouse from 16 year old deep frozen tissue, and the research began again in earnest... Read More
The cloning of human viruses may sound like the stuff of biological warfare, but breakthroughs in the area are helping in the development of antivirals and vaccines for life-threatening diseases. Now Welsh scientists have made the first complete copy of the virus Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) – a common infectious disease that is responsible for congenital malformations and potentially deadly to transplant patients or HIV/AIDS carriers. Read More
Gizmag recently took part in a virtual round table with futurist Dr James Canton and prosthetics expert Randall Alley to look at the role robots - particularly surrogate robots - will play in mankind’s future. The fascinating discussion ranged from the technology itself through to security issues and ethics surrounding the implementation of surrogate robots in our future societies. So when will you be able to send your robotic surrogate-self to the shop for a loaf of bread while you relax in front of the TV? Read More
Aleratec has released its new portable hard disk drive duplicator, the HDD Copy Cruiser Mini. Designed for the budget-conscious consumer, the Copy Cruiser Mini offers 1-to-1 copying of 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA I and II hard disk drives. Aleratec says the device is aimed at consumers who want copy their HDDs for backup or when they move to a new computer, but who don’t need the bulk and high price of an industrial model. The Copy Cruiser Mini can also be used for external storage or data backup by connecting it to a computer using its USB port. Read More
Chinese researchers have become the world's fifth most prolific contributors to peer-reviewed scientific literature on clock-reversing regenerative medicine even as a skeptical international research community condemns the practice of Chinese clinics administering unproven stem cell therapies to domestic and foreign patients. According to a study by the Canadian-based McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health (MRC), published this week by the UK journal Regenerative Medicine, China's government is pouring dollars generously into regenerative medicine (RM) research and aggressively recruiting high-caliber scientists trained abroad in pursuit of its ambition to become a world leader in the field. Read More
It’s official – the first commercially cloned dog, a 10-week old Labrador pup named Lancey (main pic), was delivered by BioArts International on January 26 to Florida residents Edgar and Nina Otto. With a bid of US$155,000, the Ottos were the highest bidder in an auction held last July to be the first to clone their family dog. Lancey’s genetic donor, Sir Lancelot, died in January, 2008, and the Ottos had his DNA stored. Samples of the DNA were sent to the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea in October, and Lancey was born on November 18, and flown to the U.S. on January 25. Read More
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