Friday Good News
Readers who have been coming to Dear Author for a while might remember how we got involved with following the fate of Black footed ferrets. There is an author who lifted, verbatim, a long passage from a scientific source to use in her book. This was discovered and discussed at length. At this point several people, myself included, made donations to a fund set up to help with the expenses of trying to bring this species back from the brink of extinction.
In 2016 there was news that the colony was doing well but apparently several of the (very few) ferrets from the original colony didn’t reproduce or leave live offspring which means the ones left are dangerously inbred. Well, it’s science to the (hopeful) rescue with a new baby born December 10, 2020 – Elizabeth Ann!
Researchers have successfully cloned a highly endangered ferret species using cells that were frozen more than three decades ago, according to news reports. The feat marks the first time an endangered species in the U.S. has been cloned, the statement said. Researchers hope Elizabeth Ann will help bring genetic diversity to the black-footed ferret population, which today is descended from just seven individual ferrets, making all living members of the species essentially half-siblings …
Elizabeth Ann was cloned from the cryopreserved cells of a wild ferret who died over 30 years ago. Hopefully this will increase the genetic diversity of the species and improve their health (as close relatives of mink, they could be in danger from Covid). Check out this other article – and squee at the videos.
Isn’t she just adorable?