GENTECH archive


cloning the dead

I enclose this article to ask a fundamental queation of you scientists and
doctors out there.
Is it really possible to clone from a dead animal? To "create" life from
what is dead?
Is there any evidence that this can be done?

>BBC News | Asia-Pacific |
>1) Thais to clone elephants
>Saturday, January 2, 1999 Published at 11:16 GMT
>All white elephants property of Royal family
>Scientists in Thailand have begun a project to clone
>an elephant from the preserved remains of a prize
>specimen that died more than a 100 years ago.
>The Bangkok Post newspaper says a team from the
>city's Mahidol University wants to use genetic
>material from a white elephant owned by the 19th
>century monarch King Rama III.
>Body parts from the elephant, said
>to have been of an extremely rare
>variety, have been preserved in
>alcohol for more than a century.
>Elephants are the country's
>national symbol. White ones have
>lighter colored skin around their
>ears, eyes, trunks, and sometimes
>other parts of their bodies.
>Prized for their rarity and
>the belief they bring good
>luck, all white elephants in
>Thailand are automatically
>the property of the Royal
>The scientists have
>already succeeded in
>cloning a cow. They
>[\who've already
>succeeded in cloning a
>cow\] say they have been
>inspired by American
>efforts to clone a mammoth.
>The 10-year project will replenish Thailand's wild
>elephant population. It has dwindled from around
>50,000 in the 1960s to just 2,000 in the wild today.
>Between 3,000 and 5,000 are domesticated animals
>The main problem has been the shrinking area of
>the animals' natural habitat, which is now too small
>to support them in large numbers. Even in the
>country's main national park the herds are
>scattered and cross-breeding is virtually
>The long-tusked bull elephants have also been
>targeted by poachers. Other elephants are force
>fed amphetamines and put to work in the illegal
>logging industry, then left to die when their bodies
>give out from overwork and drugs.
>Increasingly, elephant handlers and their beasts
>are turning up on the streets of Bangkok, where
>they make a living begging from tourists while
>constituting an additional hazard to drivers plying
>the already crowded streets of the capital.