CLONING: COW GIVES BIRTH TO BISON

The Indian Bison, a species which used to roam the North American plains freely, providing the native Indians with their staple diet, is in danger of extinction. Now, thanks to the latest advances in genetic engineering, the Indian Bison may not after all have its days counted. Using a technique in which genetic material is cloned from a host cell, in this case a dead bison, and is fused into genetic material from an ovocyte deprived of its nucleus. It is here that the genetic material of both animals enter into fusion. Of the 692 ovocytes used in the experiment, only 32 were implanted into the uterus of cows but only eight of these animals became pregnant. Five of these aborted. Of the three cows remaining pregnant with the cloned bison, the strongest has been chosen. As genetic engineering becomes more and more advanced, the frontiers of modern medicine are pushed further and further until the complicated and complex final frontier is reached : the point where pure science, applied science and ethics meet. The scientific community would certainly welcome a real-life Jurassic Park and the possibility to clone a dinosaur is no longer science fiction but a distinct possibility, a probability even, but where do we draw the line regarding the creation, or alteration of, species ?

Tim Bancroft-Hinchey Correspondent of PRAVDA.Ru Lissabon

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Author`s name: Editorial Team