An arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) has been cloned for the first time in history by a Beijing-based pet-cloning gene firm, which took a donor cell from a wild female arctic wolf and combined it with an embryo that he grew up inside a beagle, which shares genetic ancestry with ancient wolves, in order to guarantee the process. And it was a complete success.
Is the arctic wolf endangered?
The little wolf has been baptized as Maya and has already passed her first 100 days of life. The genetic material was inserted into the denucleated ovum of a female dog that was “in heat.” A beagle was then chosen as a surrogate mother to carry the embryo in her womb until birth. It is essentially the same method that was first used on Dolly the famous sheep in 1996. However, Dolly was euthanized at the age of six when it was discovered that she had a lung tumour. The little wolf is completely healthy since she was born in early June . Although arctic wolves are not endangered, the company hopes to use this process to save other species that are.
Typically, Sinogene Biotechnologies , the company involved in this milestone, specializes in cloning deceased pets such as cats, dogs, and horses for private clients. But the genetics company wants to investigate how to preserve animals that are more at risk than Maya’s counterparts. Although there is still a long way to go.
Regardless of the moral implications of the successful experiment, as some researchers in the scientific community have raised concerns, specifically about the health of cloned animals and how cloning will affect biodiversity , Maya is considered a milestone for the application of cloning technology.
“This is not only the achievement of our research cooperation with Harbin Polarland, but also our new endeavor and breakthrough in the protection and breeding of wild and endangered animals,” said Mi Jidong, general manager of Sinogene, during the conference. of press. “From the start of the project in 2020 to the healthy birth of the wolf cub in June this year, we have overcome many difficulties . Looking back, it is worth it.”
Referencia: Sinogene Biotechnologies 2022 Press Release