On an Island north of Siberia, frozen remains of a mammoth have been discovered with blood that is STILL liquid! The 10,000-year-old beast was found on one of the Lyakhovsky Islands in the Novosibirsk archipelago off the northern coast of Siberia. Researchers from the Northeastern Federal University in Yakutsk poked the remains with an ice pick and, incredibly, blood flowed out.

Since the temperature during excavation was -7 to -10 degrees celsius, the scientist say that “It may be assumed that the blood of mammoths had some cryoprotective properties”. How fucking awesome is that!?



Turkish multimedia artist Erdal Inci experiments with cloned motion in video to create awesomely hypnotic looping videos and gifs of himself moving through public spaces, sometimes carrying lights or other objects. Depending on the exposure, Inci sometimes appears to be no more than a shadow or isn’t visible at all, making his videos even more mysterious and dreamlike.

He states: “I realized that if you clone a recorded performance contiguously it will become perpetual. So that you can see all the time phases of the same performance in a small amount of time like 1 or 2 seconds. This gives you the chance of thinking like a choreographer with a mass crew or painter who fills its frame not in forms and colour but motion. At this point I could tell I am inspired by patterns in traditional arts & crafts , dance and repetition. Motion, performance and real environments are the outlines of the work.”

Check out more of Erdal Inci’s mesmerizing video art (and at much higher resolution) over on Vimeo, Facebook or Instagram.

[via Colossal and iGNANT]

Mouse cloned from single drop of blood

PTI: Scientists have for the first time cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood.

Researchers used circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse to produce the clone. The female mouse cloned from a peripheral leukocyte proved to be fertile by natural mating, and lived for a normal lifespan, researchers said.

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, devised a technique to avoid the diminishing returns of recloning the same cell. Success rates increased from the standard three per cent in first-generation clones to ten per cent in first-generation and 14 per cent in higher-generation clones, researchers said.

Photo credit: AFP


Can you tell the difference between these two cats?

Because genetically, they’re identical.

The one up top is Rainbow, the first cat to ever be cloned. The one on the bottom is CC (for Carbon Copy, not CopyCat), and is the result of the experiment. CC was born in 2001, gave birth to kittens in 2006, and is generally happy and healthy.

Of course, it is easy to tell these cats apart. Rainbow has a calico pattern and CC does not. In calicoes, the gene for black fur is on one X, and the gene for orange fur is on the other X (which is why the vast majority of calicoes are females.) In each cat cell, only one X is active. The cell from which CC was cloned only coded for the dark color. Furthermore, patterns are affected by gene expression and development, so there are a lot of ways in which a clone can be different from its progenitor. 

It’s important to remember that cloning is more reproduction than replication. Rodeo Clown Ralph Fisher commissioned the same company to clone his beloved Brahman bull named Chance, because Chance was so kind and docile. The cloned bull, Second Chance, attacked him twice, leaving him with 80 stitches in his crotch and a fractured spine.

Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast

Technical and ethical challenges abound after first hurdle of taking cells from millennia-old bodies is cleared

The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts.

The notional procedure – bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films – was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell scientist, whose team unveiled Dolly as the world’s first cloned mammal in 1996.

Though it is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the same way as Dolly, more modern techniques that convert tissue cells into stem cells could potentially achieve the feat, Wilmut says in an article today for the academic journalism website, The Conversation.

“I’ve always been very sceptical about the whole idea, but it dawned on me that if you could clear the first hurdle of getting viable cells from mammoths, you might be able to do something useful and interesting,” Wilmut told the Guardian.

“I think it should be done as long as we can provide great care for the animal. If there are reasonable prospects of them being healthy, we should do it. We can learn a lot about them,” he added.

Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth tens of thousands of years ago in a period called the late Pleistocene. Their numbers began to fall in North America and on mainland Eurasia about 10,000 years ago. Some lived on for a further 6,000 years. Their demise was likely the result of hunting and environmental change.

The prospect of raising woolly mammoths from the dead has gathered pace in recent years as the number of frozen bodies recovered from the Siberian permafrost has soared. The rise comes because the ice is melting, but also because of awareness in the region that there is money in the ancient remains. (via Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast | Science | The Guardian)


How Cloning Works

On Jan. 8, 2001, scientists at Advanced Cell Tec­hnology, Inc., announced the birth of the first ­clone of an endangered animal, a baby bull gaur (a large wild ox from India and southeast Asia) named Noah. Although Noah died of an infection unrelated to the procedure, the experiment demonstrated that it is possible to save endangered species through cloning.

Cloning is the process of making a genetically identical organism through nonsexual means. It has been used for many years to produce plants (even growing a plant from a cutting is a type of cloning).

Animal cloning has been the su­bject of scientific experiments for years, but garnered little attention until the birth of the first cloned mammal in 1996, a sheep named Dolly. Since Dolly, several scientists have cloned other animals, including cows and mice. The recent success in cloning animals has sparked fierce debates among scientists, politicians and the general public about the use and morality of cloning plants, animals and possibly humans.

In this article, we will examine how cloning works and look at possible uses of this technology.

The unfer­tilized eggs of some animals (small invertebrates, worms, some species of fish, lizards and frogs) can develop into full-grown adults under certain environmental conditions – usually a chemical stimulus of some kind. This process is calledparthenogenesis, and the offspring are clones of the females that laid the eggs.

Another example of natural cloning is identical twins. Although they are genetically different from their parents, identical twins are naturally occurring clones of each other.

Scientists have experimented with animal cloning, but have never been able to stimulate a specialized (differentiated) cell to produce a new organism directly. Instead, they rely on transplanting the genetic information from a specialized cell into an unfertilized egg cell whose genetic information has been destroyed or physically removed.

In the 1970s, a scientist named John Gurdon successfully cloned tadpoles. He transplanted the nucleus from a specialized cell of one frog (B) into an unfertilized egg of another frog (A) in which the nucleus had been destroyed by ultraviolet light. The egg with the transplanted nucleus developed into a tadpole that was genetically identical to frog B.

While Gurdon’s tadpoles did not survive to grow into adult frogs, his experiment showed that the process of specialization in animal cells was reversible, and his technique of nuclear transfer paved the way for later cloning successes.


In 1996, cloning was revolutionized when Ian Wilmut and his colleagues at the Roslin­ Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly. Dolly was the first cloned mammal.

Wilmut and his colleagues transplanted a nucleus from a mammary gland cell of a Finn Dorsett sheep into the enucleated egg of a Scottish blackface ewe. The nucleus-egg combination was stimulated with electricity to fuse the two and to stimulate cell division. The new cell divided and was placed in the uterus of a blackface ewe to develop. Dolly was born months later.

Dolly was shown to be genetically identical to the Finn Dorsett mammary cells and not to the blackface ewe, which clearly demonstrated that she was a successful clone (it took 276 attempts before the experiment was successful). Dolly has since grown and reproduced several offspring of her own through normal sexual means. Therefore, Dolly is a viable, healthy clone.

Since Dolly, several university laboratories and companies have used various modifications of the nuclear transfer technique to produce cloned mammals, including cows, pigs, monkeys, mice and Noah.

read more about Dolly and cloning 


Throwback Thursday: Gem Twist (1979 - 2006)
image source: (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x)

The grey Thoroughbred gelding Gem Twist (registered as Icey Twist) by Good Twist out of Coldly Noble was ranked as one of the 20th century’s greatest show-jumpers, and is considered by some to be the best show-jumper ever bred in the United States (x). Gem Twist was voted as the World’s Best Horse at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, 1990 (x). He won individual and team Silver medals for show-jumping at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games (x), and three times won the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year title under riders Greg Best (1987), Leslie Burr Howard (1993), and Laura Chapot (1995) (x). Here’s footage of him competing at Stockholm in 1990:

Gem Twist was bred by Frank Chapot, who’d trained and competed on his sire Good Twist, who himself was a champion show-jumper, and hall of fame show-jumper, with victories in Grand Prix classes in the United States and 21 international classes (x).

Good Twist


Good Twist’s grandsire Bonne Nuit (1934) also represented the U.S. at international show-jumping, and helped found the post-cavalry era of showjumpers and:

“at one point had sired the majority of the horses on the United States Equestrian Team (USET). According to Mary the Chapot’s barn soon became a nightmare for grooms as only grey horses lined their aisles.” (x)

Bonne Nuit


“George Morris has said of Bonne Nuit, his least get were good jumpers and his best get went to the Olympics.” (x)

Gem Twist was gelded before siring any offspring, however two clones of him have been bred. The clone Gemini CL, born in 2008 was bred by Frank and Mary Chapot, who’d like to see their daughter Laura have the opportunity to compete at the Olympics, as they both did, and they plan on using Gemini to further this dynasty of jumpers (x). Gemini sired his first foal in 2012 (x).

Gemini CL


Gem Twist’s second clone, Murka Gem was foaled in 2011, and purchased by Olga White, an Olympic horse owner who works with rider Peter Charles (x).

So while Gem Twist never sired any offspring, through his clones, the genes of this champion are now being passed down to another generation. 

“The Bonne Nuit horses had great records and were great jumpers. But there were none of them left, and now there is,” Frank said. “I remember growing up as a kid, every time you turned around, there was another Bonne Nuit that was a super jumper and winning. It’s a shame to let that run out. I had the last Bonne Nuit stallion, Good Twist, and I had a lot of success with him. I’d like to keep the line going.” (x)


Ground Layering is a form of plant propagation in which clones of the parent plant are made as lower branches come into contact with the soil.

This can be done manually (as I have done above with a Rhododendron), or, it can happen naturally, when a plant produces adventitious roots.

The process can be accelerated by scoring the bark of the stem section that is to be buried to reveal the cambium–which provides undifferentiated cells that turn into root tissue–and applying rooting hormone.

When this is done above the ground, it is called air layering.

Layering is a reliable way to create clones of plants that are difficult to propagate by cuttings, like certain hardwoods, or flowering trees like magnolias. The clone is able to derive water and nutrients from the parent plant, while slowly establishing roots over a period of weeks or months.

#DIY #garden hacks #cloning #resources