Klondike the Extraordinary Puppy
If you’re a dog person like I am, you may be excited to hear that they wont be going anywhere any time soon. Biology is advancing every day, and one of its recent successes has caught my eye. One little puppy’s survival and thriving growth has given hope to endangered canines and possibly other types of endangered species as well.
Klondike is a Labrador-beagle mix who was born through the process of cryopreservation, the freezing of tissue. After his beagle mother was artificially inseminated, the embryos were frozen and one was eventually inserted into his surrogate mother, another beagle. Scientists waited until Klondike was nine months old to announce the success of this process. The puppy doesn’t have any major health problems, and has developed normally so far in his life.
Although neither Labradors nor beagles are endangered, this assisted reproduction technique can most likely be used with species such as the red wolf, one of the world’s most endangered canines. Repopulation of this species is now possible, with Klondike as proof! Female dogs can only give birth once or twice a year, so being able to freeze their embryos and preserve genetic diversity is truly a breakthrough.
Biology is constantly developing in new and amazing ways. Now that scientists have successfully given life to a frozen dog embryo, they may be anticipating the same success for other endangered species. Cryopreservation of embryos is a rather new field in biology, and it will be fascinating to learn which species they will use this technique on next!
Posted by Lindsey Dugas (1).