Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Endangered Ferret Cloned

Researchers have successfully cloned a black-footed ferret, an endangered species, the New York Times reports.

The black-footed ferret is native to North America and was thought to be extinct until 1981 when a Wyoming ranch dog brought a dead one home, it adds. According to the Times, that population did well for a few years before being hit by canine distemper and sylvatic plague and the Fish and Wildlife Service captured the remaining 18 ferrets. As only seven of those ferrets passed on their genes, the current population has low genetic diversity, it adds.

But the Times notes that with the new black-footed ferret clone — the little one is called Elizabeth Ann — researchers at Revive & Restore hope to boost the population's genetic diversity. Elizabeth Ann's genes come from a ferret called Willa whose line died out, but whose cells were preserved as part of the Frozen Zoo effort, it notes.

"Biotechnology and genomic data can really make a difference on the ground with conservation efforts," Ben Novak, lead scientist with Revive & Restore tells the Associated Press. Revive & Restore also aims to bring back already extinct animals such as the passenger pigeon and mammoth, it adds.

The Scan

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.

Study Examines Relationship Between Cellular Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair

A new study in Molecular Systems Biology finds that an antioxidant enzyme shifts from mitochondria to the nucleus as part of the DNA damage response.

Stem Cell Systems Target Metastatic Melanoma in Mouse Model

Researchers in Science Translational Medicine describe a pair of stem cell systems aimed at boosting immune responses against metastatic melanoma in the brain.

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.