BILD 3 - Lecture 28

BILD 3 - Lecture 28 - In India, only one percent of the...

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In India, only one percent of the original forested land is preserved as parks, primarily because the land had been preserved by maharajas for hunting. Indian cheetahs have disappeared, lions are confined to one small reserve, and the 2008 census shows that tigers have declined from 3600 to only 1400 in the last five years. Human population pressures are likely to overwhelm these small areas, and poachers are hunting the few remaining tigers. Can some species be saved? In a wildlife sanctuary in Maimi, two Siberian tiger cubs born during Hurricane Hannah are being raised by a chimpanzee named Anjana! Direct surrogate motherhood is a possibility. Oliver Ryder at the San Diego Zoo’s Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species has succeeded in reviving cells from frozen tissue of a banteng, an endangered wild relative of cattle found in Java. Two banteng babies were born to cattle surrogate mothers, but one was abnormal and only one has survived.
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In the future, will it be possible to bring extinct species back to life? A giant step in this direction was the recent publication of over 4 billion bases of DNA from the extinct woolly mammoth. Most of the DNA was obtained from a mammoth that died and was frozen in the Siberian tundra about 20,000 years ago. The DNA was obtained from the inner canals of mammoth hairs, where it had not been contaminated by bacterial DNA. The hundreds of thousands of small DNA sequences were assembled using cleverly designed computer programs. About 80% of the genome was sequenced, using a state-of-the-art sequencing machine. The error rate could be estimated, and was about 0.14%. The error rate will be reduced, as more DNA is sequenced using even more advanced technologies. Genome comparisons show that mammoths were slightly more closely related to Indian than to African elephants. They differed from African elephants by an average of one amino acid per protein, and of course there are many regulatory differences. Can mammoths be brought back, perhaps by constructing
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2010 for the course BILD 3 taught by Professor Wills during the Spring '07 term at UCSD.

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BILD 3 - Lecture 28 - In India, only one percent of the...

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