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Chinese Scientists Successfully Clone Wolves | merdeka.com


Merdeka.com – Chinese biotechnology company Sinogene Biotechnology has successfully cloned a polar wolf they named Maya. Even though it was a clone and not a real wolf, the wolf showed a good growth rate.

Cloning itself is creating a new living creature that is genetically identical. Cloning is not new, a team of British scientists had previously cloned a sheep named Dolly. The sheep became the first living creature to be cloned by humans.

Maya’s cloning process is not much different from Dolly’s cloning process. Maya had to go through a cloning process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (cells that make up organisms).

To create and develop wolf embryos (eggs), scientists had to place Maya cells into the beagle’s womb. The dog became a surrogate mother and gave birth to Maya.

“The newborn wolf has the same genome as the real wolf, but the cloned wolf doesn’t live with another wolf, but with a dog,” said Zhao Jianping, Deputy General Manager of Sinogene, as reported by Euronews, Friday (23/9).

Researchers also revealed that cloned animals have problems socializing with their own species.

“Even for cloned domesticated dogs and cats, there is also the problem of early socialization. The earlier the socialization, the more beneficial it will be for its future development,” Zhao continued.

The reason scientists cloned the Maya was to help preserve endangered species.

But the polar wolf is not an endangered species because they live in isolation from other animals. The existence of humans does not threaten their habitat. Therefore Maya cloning can be regarded as a trial for cloning other endangered species. Because the biotechnology company wants to research ways to preserve animals that are more vulnerable to extinction.

But the challenge of cloning endangered species remains.

“It’s relatively easy to clone dogs and cats,” explains Zhao.

“We will continue to work in this area. In the next step, we might clone rare wild animals other than dogs or cats and that will be more difficult.”

Although the team of Chinese scientists has good intentions to preserve animals that are vulnerable to extinction, some in the scientific community view differently. For them cloning has an effect on biodiversity.

Maya was unable to socialize with other wolves because they had to live in captivity.

Intern Reporter: Theofilus Jose Setiawan [pan]

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