Can Scientists Clone An Endangered Species Back From Brink Of Extinction?

"Federal officials announced that they have cloned two more black-footed ferrets, one of North America’s rarest mammals".

"They’re cute, they’re fuzzy — and they may just help bring their entire species back from the brink of extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday the births last year of Noreen and Antonia, two baby ferrets cloned from cells frozen nearly four decades ago.

The successful cloning of these adorable predators is a milestone in the effort to save the black-footed ferret, one of North America’s most endangered mammals. Once thought to be extinct, today’s wild ferret population descends from just seven individuals, representing a severe lack of genetic diversity that threatens the long-term survival of the species.

Now with these two new black-masked balls of fuzz added to the mix, conservationists hope to begin breeding the two females later this year to inject some new blood into the population."

Dino Grandoni reports for the Washington Post April 17, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 04/18/2024