Duck Fathers A Chicken, Offering Hope For Extinct Species

Uhm…I…er…well now…I don’t even really know what to think about this. Good? Bad..? Jurassic Park careless, maybe?

Once again, I’m sitting here asking myself, “Just because we can, does it always mean that we should?”

From Treehugger – “A duck has fathered a chicken — seriously. Scientists from Dubai’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory say they have succeeded in using one species to produce another, a new technique which could be used to bring extinct species back to life.

To achieve the interspecies-produced offspring, researchers injected a male duck embryo with chicken germ cells — those cells responsible for producing gametes (sperm or eggs). And as the duck grew into sexual maturity, its body began to produce reproductive cells belonging to the other species, allowing it to breed with a hen to create a chick.

Using this same technique, researchers believe that one day chickens could be modified with DNA from other bird types, like eagles or songbirds, to breed offspring belonging to a species not their own — including those previously wiped out of existence.

Mike McGrew, a scientist working with the team in Dubai, says that the hope is to one day ”use this system to propagate endangered species or potentially bring back an extinct one.”

Not long ago, the notion of reviving lost species from extinction seemed pure science fiction, but embryonic researchers are well on their way to doing just that.”

Original Source – Time

4 comments on “Duck Fathers A Chicken, Offering Hope For Extinct Species

  1. carinaragno says:

    there is something wrong about this, i had a rooster and a duck that were best buds. her eggs were never fertilized by the rooster, but she would sit and wait patiently for them to hatch ;)


  2. ephraiyim says:

    The really frightening thing about this is that many of these scientists DO believe tat if it can be done it should.
    There is no ethical oversight and society is shut out because much of the research is done through the auspices of government groups like DARPA, NSA, CIA etc so we pay but have no idea…
    Here’s my pitch-take all scientific research away from government-it’s not in the Constitution anyway-and force it back into the free market so that it slows down to a pace that society can more easily manage. Of course we would also have to eliminate corporations and their ability to influence elected officials. Make business owners accountable for the decisions they make. Done with my pitch ;=)


    • Maybe I’m just a tad old fashioned but I really don’t want to share my space with a brontosaurus herd or have to worry about an accidentally freed T-Rex romping around looking for a snack. The concept is cool and I am sure there are defenders who would only see us bring back small species or birds and whatnot but as you pointed out – there is no oversight or moral thought given for any of this really. Cows producing human breast milk and ducks fathering chickens, rebirthing dead species…and this is *Only* the beginning, I presume…I seriously don’t want to see the end results.

      I like your pitch very, much. As I started reading it though, I had a moment of semi-panic…turn science over to Monsanto the way things are right now? Oooof….talk about end results I wouldn’t want to know about?! But, as I finished I breathed a sigh of relief and agreement…:-)


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