Embryology Bill Ritchie, 15 years ago took part in the reproduction of Dolly the sheep, has started work on a new cloning technology, which gave the world many, many rare Scottish wildcat Felis sylvestris grampia. Mr. Ritchie says that the project will help to keep the population of these animals, which today has no more than 400 wild animals.
The project involved the Research Institute Moredun; Partial funding is provided Genecom (business unit called high school) and the Institute for Animal Health. Clone cats were invited by the Royal Zoological community of Scotland.
According to Bill Ritchie, a few cat species have been cloned using domestic cats, and wolves used to clone a dog egg. Find purebred wild cat is difficult because of the pairing with pets, but modern technology allows to choose to experiment the most purebred animals. They would remove small pieces of skin cells will allocate from it and grow more of them required for cloning.
The raw material will serve as the egg of house cats, which can be obtained from the ovaries, removed from animals in the mountains Kerngormskih (known as a center of tourism and mountaineering in the north of Scotland) in order to avoid interbreeding with wild species representatives.
In August last year, the staff Highland Park - Wildlife Reserve confirmed that initiated the discussion of the plan on cloning of wild cats. Negotiations were conducted with the Department of Science of the Human Reproduction Medical Research Council in Edinburgh. The resulting hybrid of domestic and wild cats will be used by zoologists to remove "pure wild kittens».
According to some estimates, in the forests of northern highlands survived only 150 breeding pairs of wild cats. The reasons for the reduction of the population are called disease, reducing habitat and interbreeding (interbreeding) with domestic cats.