US researchers say they have carried out the first successful cloning of a white-tailed deer in a “breakthrough” that could be instrumental in conserving endangered deer species.
Picture released from Texas A&M University shows Dewey, the cloned deer. (Click on the pictures to see a larger view.)
The fawn is believed to be the first successfully cloned deer, and Texas A&M is the first academic institution in the world to have cloned five different species. Previously, researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine have cloned cattle, goats, pigs and a cat.
The announcement of the successful deer cloning was delayed until DNA analysis could be performed to confirm genetic identity.
This breakthrough in deer cloning at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M was a joint project with Viagen, Inc. and may be useful in
Dewey, the world’s first deer clone was named after researcher Duane “Dewey” Kraemer. December, 2003
“Dewey is developing normally for a fawn his age and appears healthy,” said Dr. Mark Westhusin, who holds a joint appointment with the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences and is the lead investigator on the project. “A DNA analysis confirmed that Dewey is a clone, i.e. a genetic copy of the donor,” adding that “future scientific advances resulting from the successful cloning of the deer are expected.”
Dewey, the world’s first deer clone was born May 23, 2003
“With each new species cloned, we learn more about how this technology might be applied to improving the health of animals and humans,” said Westhusin.
In December 2001, the first cloned cat was born at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University. Other cloned animals born at the university include several litters of pigs, a Boer goat, a disease-resistant Angus bull, and the first Brahma bull.
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University.
White-tailed deer represent the most abundant, wide-spread big game animal in North America. They are popular game animals and are prized for their meat and antlers. Deer farming to produce meat and antlers is common-place in many parts of the world, including Texas. When breeding animals die or are harvested as a result of hunting, cloning may provide a valuable tool for conserving the genetics of superior animals.
PRESS RELEASE -Established in 1916, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M is one of the world’s largest veterinary colleges and is an international leader in animal health care and research.
For more information contact:
Diane L. Oswald
Public Relations Coordinator
College of Veterinary Medicine
Texas A&M University