Endangered animal species may be cloned
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Thursday 15 November 2012
Endangered animals in Brazil may be cloned to help ensure their survival, if plans by Brazilian genetic researchers go ahead.
Scientists at the Brazilian agricultural research agency Embrapa, who cloned a cow in 2001, are now turning their attention to the country's threatened wildlife.
In partnership with the Brasilia Zoological Garden, they have gathered tissue samples from eight endangered species with a view to possible cloning.
The goal was not to release cloned animals back into the wild, but to supplement zoo stocks. Conservationists have not been generally enthusiastic about the use of cloning of endangered species as a conservation tool.
A potential drawback is that it removes the genetic variability that is useful in helping animals survive in the wild.
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