This 12,400-year-old puppy may be brought back to life using cloning

Well-preserved remains of a 12,400-year-old puppy from the extinct Pleistocene canid species have been discovered near the Tumat village in the Sakha Republic of Russia. Scientists believe the puppy was an ancient pet — one of man’s first best friends. How they plan to bring the animal back to life.

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Ever seen another person’s herb garden and wanted one exactly like it? Want to buy loads of lovely herbs but don’t have the money? Or want to start a plant business don’t know where to start?

Well my friend, I have two words for you. Plant cloning. It’s natural, free and very easy to do.  

This method works best for herbs such as

  • Basil
  • Broadleaf Thyme/Cuban Oregano
  • Mint
  • Oregano

Basically, what it does is allow you to take a cutting from one plant, and grow an entirely separate plant from it. This means that you could have an endless supply of herbs - you can take 20 cuttings from a single plant, and when they’ve all grown you’ll be able to take another 20 cutting from each of those plants! 

So how do you do it? Well it’s deceptively simple. Here’s how:

1. Start with your parent plant. Due to my recent obsession with basil, that’s the herb I’ve decided to go for.

2. Take a cutting - about 4-5 inches long. Make sure you do it just below a node (the place where the leaves join the stem, just like above in the picture)

3. If possible, try and cut the stem diagonally. This gives it a greater surface area to suck up water with.

4. OK, so this is pretty much what your cutting should look like. Make sure you’ve removed at least the bottom pair of leaves, but it’s good to remove a few sets as the plant can then concentrate on growing roots. 

5. Place the cutting in some water so that the stem is comletley submerged. I found old plastic shot glasses worked great for this, but you can also use pretty bottles or cups or whatever. 

6. Make sure you’ve picked the bottom leaves off, and that the nodes are in the water. This is because the new roots are going to grow out of these nodes, so obviously they’re going to need to be in the water. 

7. Put them in a sunny place where you can keep an eye on them. Above is a picture of the babies with their mummy! After about a week, roots should have grown out of the nodes. 

8. That’s it, you’re done! Once the roots are well developed, you can plant your herbs in to pots. Keep the soil moist and the herb in a sunny place, and soon it’ll be as big as the parent plant. 

You can use this method to get free herbs - instead of buying them all, why not just take cuttings from a friend or family member’s herbs and use them for your own garden? (with their permission of course) 

Or, take a lot of cuttings like I’ve done, pot them up and sell them for a profit!

Good luck and happy planting! ^-^

Dolly at 20

Twenty years ago today on February 22, 1997,  Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute, announced the existence of a 7 month old sheep named Dolly, the product of cloning.  She was cloned using and adult cell and born on July, 5, 1996 and raised under the auspices of the UK Ministry of Agriculture and Scottish company PPL Therapeutics.  A Dorset Finn sheep, Dolly lived for six and half years before she was euthanized due to illness.  Dolly was created with a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, in which a donor cell (in this case and adult cell from another sheep) has the nucleus removed that is then transfered into an unfertilized egg cell (an oocyte) which in turn has had its cell nucleus removed to make way for the donor nucleus.  The host cell is then stimulated and implanted into a host sheep for gestation.  Although other animals had been cloned before Dolly, Dolly is celebrated as the first ‘clone’ because her donor cell came from an adult cell. 

The word clone entered English as a noun used in botany in 1903 from the Ancient Greek word klon (κλον) meaning a twig or spray, related to klados (κλαδος) meaning a sprout, young offshoot, branch.  Botanists used the word to describe the results of the techique of grafting a shoot of one plant or tree onto another.  The word clone (verb) wasn’t used until 1959, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that clone was used in connnection with animals and humans.  Since Dolly, scientists have successfully cloned many other animals, including pigs, horses, goats, and deer.  

Image of ‘v’ graft courtesy ghadjikyriacou, via flickr, used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.

The Kitten Might Eat the T-Rex
  • Beth: [age 8] "I want a kitten."
  • Me: "A kitten would be nice. But we already have a dog and a cat, and you just got some fish."
  • Beth: "I also want a peregrine falcon, a tiger, a giraffe, an elephant, and a T-rex."
  • Me: "Whoa. That's a lot of animals. I don't think we would have room for all of them."
  • Beth: "No, that's one animal. I want somebody to clone them all into one."
  • Me: "Wait a second. You want a falcon-tiger-giraffe-elephant-T-rex? One crazy mixed-up animal?"
  • Beth: "Yes, exactly! Just clone them all together in a cloning machine!"
  • Me: "I don't have a cloning machine."
  • Beth: "Then we can pay somebody who has the machine."
  • Me: "Cloning isn't really a machine, Beth. It's a pretty expensive and complicated process. And nobody knows how to combine animals like that."
  • Beth: "Well, then, we just have to invent it."
  • Me: "Why stop at those animals, though? How about throwing in a tarantula, and a shark, and a few more?"
  • Beth: "Ohhhh yeah. A giant squid. I've always wanted my own giant squid."
  • Me: "So, you want a T-rex-falcon-tiger-giraffe-elephant-tarantula-shark-squid thing... and a kitten."
  • Beth: "Yes."
  • Me: "I think one of those will eat the other."
  • Beth: "You're right: The kitten might eat the T-rex."
  • Me: "What?"
  • Beth: "Well, I just want a really tiny T-rex." [holds her thumb and forefinger an inch apart] "Like this big."
  • Me: "Uh... yeah, the kitten might eat the T-rex, then."
  • Beth: "The T-rex might bite on the kitten's tail."
  • Me: "I think the kitten could just swat it away."
  • Beth: "We would just have to keep the T-rex safe. It's not every day you get a tiny pet T-rex!"
  • Me: "It's not going to be /any/ day that you get a pet T-rex."
  • Beth: [sighing] "You're probably right. That makes me sad."
  • Me: "Sorry, my dear."
  • Beth: "So... can I get a kitten?"

Made another video! In this episode I show YOU how to clone plants by taking cuttings. It is very silly and contains some VERY STRONG LANGUAGE. Other than that, how offensive can gardening be?

If you like mah pictures, please watch it!


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.