Scientists have cloned the first endangered species in the U.S., a black-footed ferret duplicated from the genes of an animal that died more than 30 years ago.
Elizabeth Ann was born December 10 and is being raised at a Fish and Wildlife facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. She’s a genetic copy of a ferret named Willa who died in 1988 and whose remains were frozen in the early days of DNA technology.
Elizabeth Ann is being raised at a Fish and Wildlife facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Cutting-edge science and a blast from the past! Meet Elizabeth Ann. She’s the first-ever cloned black-footed ferret, created from the frozen cells of a ferret that died more than 30 years ago: https://t.co/PJNo7NaFhV— US Fish and Wildlife (@USFWSMtnPrairie) February 18, 2021
Check the thread for more about Elizabeth Anne! pic.twitter.com/0i85mv9FgH
Today, all black-footed ferrets are descended from seven individuals, resulting in unique genetic challenges to recovering this species. Cloning may help address significant genetic diversity and disease resilience barriers to support habitat conservation and reestablishment of additional populations in the wild.
Scientists say cloning could eventually bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon.