Months ago we published a scientific paper where we showed for the first time that human cloning can’t actually successfully reprogram human cells back to a normal embryonic state and and we’re still working on that now let’s.
Talk about your work which is nothing less than fantastic first of all with endangered animals you’ve been able to essentially bring back to life genetically speaking organisms that have been.
Dead for 25 years explain your work well as you know about a hundred species go extinct every day and those genes are launched from the planet forever and in so seeing that we have ones that cause most of these extinctions you know.
I a while back I thought that all perhaps you know we had some responsibility to see if we could use some of our tools the best we can to reverse that so back in 2000 I.
Actually decided I would try to clone a gower which is an endangered ox.
Light creature from Asia and it had been hunted almost to the verge of extinction and I actually got some cells that from an animal died a few years earlier and tried to clone it using ordinary domestic cow eggs and many of my.
Bob that’s impossible you can’t get a clone you can’t clone one species using the eggs from another species and it turned out we actually were able to generate a beautiful little baby gower embryos we actually.
Sent them off to I or I or by FedEx overnight Express and they were implanted into ordinary ROM cows and in nine months later we got a.
Baby shower which we called know where it was born alive walking around and bellowing but then a couple days later.
It died of the century so everyone said see Bob it.
Doesn’t work I went back to the San Diego Zoo and and convinced them to you know let’s give this a try again so they said well you know we actually have this what we call.
Stud 391 that died back in 1980 a quarter of a century earlier and it would be great if you could bring that animal resurrect that animal so we could reintroduce that valuable genetic material into our highly inbred group of animals that they had so.
They sent me a vial of these cells and when we transfer them.
Into some empty cow legs and they were sent off again to AI or and implanted in some beef cattle that served as the surrogate moms and and we started with 16 pregnancies and nine months later we were down to.
Just two and so there we were back in 2003 we were secretly gathered out in this bum in the middle.
We were watching this cow give birth by c-section and and I remember you know that you know when they started a c-section there was some splatting of blood and the vet reached in and pulled out from the.
Mothers belly in these two small hoods and when they started the massage it you know suddenly its eyes open and it is started a wiggle and it let out this big bellow and everyone applauded and the whole.
Thing was so surreal here we were out in the farm in Iowa watching a beef cow give birth to this exotic endangered animal that’s normally born in the bamboo jungles of Southeast Asia it was really exciting now.
Since then I guess many other people have followed you know footsteps right so I guess many endangered animals have been brought back yes that’d that is correct and just recently in South Korea I understand that they cloned.
Know that the hope is we’ve actually been in dialogue you know with some folks in China about the giant panda but also to work is now going on to clone cheetahs and even the extinct picado mountain goat now I understand that the competition is so fierce that in South Korea one of their leading researchers was tempted to commit fraud and basically.
Claiming these fantastic results could you elaborate yeah actually back at the early part of this decade we actually you know there was an article on the cover of Wired well we.
Were on the verge we actually had cloned a pretty advanced stage human embryo and at the time everyone thought it was imminent that we were going to be publishing actually creating stem cells and then just out of the blue of this group and South Korea which no one had any knowledge of published a paper in science saying they had done it so obviously.
They this individual thought he could do it and his name was long and unfortunately it turned out many years.
Later that the whole thing had been fabricated there was it just a complete.
Disaster you know it actually you know terminated most of the research we were doing everyone had just assumed that this feed.
Had been accomplished you know it was one of the biggest scandals in scientific history it was just terrible and in fact some of my colleagues were wondering why he did it to disgrace the whole country because at some point it would come out however the leading theory is that he probably thought that some group around the world was going to do it anyway so why not simply beat them out by a few months.
To a few years and then people will forget people will overlook things and not go into the details and find.
Out that it was a total fraud no absolutely I know he was convinced that in a few months we were going to publish a paper showing you could do it and then everyone say see it works and you know and then he would have gone on and got his Nobel Prize and in fact the government gave him millions and millions of dollars and literally thousands of human eggs and so I’m sure he was certain that he would be able to.
Achieve it and no one would ever know in fact he pulled into his group you know some of the top cloning experts in the world you know schatten and evening in wilmut in the end was was working with him so I’m sure he figured out with all the brainpower and resources that this would be pretty simple to do and as you know it’s turned out to be a lot difficult than anyone thought.
Now let’s talk about something.
That is science fiction bringing back extinct animals including the Neanderthal on this show we’ve.
Had people that are very interested in sequencing the genome of the.
Neanderthal our nearest species which dine out tens of thousands of years ago in Europe and believe it or not they expect the full genome of the Neanderthal to be sequence in the coming.
Years Anders talk about maybe bringing back the Neanderthals any comments yeah I I.