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Live Science: Resurrecting stallions via cloning could help undo genetic erosion

By January 23, 2024No Comments

Wild Przewalski's horses, reintroduced at the steppes of South Ural | Shutterstock

Revive & Restore’s Ben Novak joins Live Science’s Richard Pallardy on an exploration of our Przewalski’s horse cloning program. The interview explores the conservation history of the species and the technology underlying conservation cloning. The article was inspired by Ben and colleagues’ new paper on BioRx, documenting the technology for cloning Przewalski’s horses.

From the Article

Two Przewalski’s horses  have been successfully cloned using DNA from a long-dead male, which may have significant implications for the critically endangered species. 

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance announced the birth of the second foal in September 2023. Now scientists have documented the cloning process in a new study, published Dec. 21, 2023 on the preprint server BioRxiv.

Native to the steppes of Central Asia, Przewalski’s horse (Equus przewalskii or E. ferus przewalskii) has long been considered the only remaining species of wild horse. Some experts consider it to be its own species, while others consider it to be a subspecies of the extinct Equus ferus, the wild horse from which all domestic horses are likely descended.

Read the full article

About the Program

The Przewalski’s horse (Equus przewalskii) is a critically endangered species that once ranged throughout Europe and Asia. Formerly extinct in the wild, today’s Przewalski’s horses are all descendants of just 12 individuals. Since 2018, Revive & Restore and its partners have worked to restore genetic diversity in the Przewalski’s horse through strategic conservation cloning.

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