"I've always liked having three horses to ride," said Kit Knotts, proud owner of Mouse, the foal that represents the successful cloning efforts and the latest in equine reproduction science at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. "I called and emailed breeders to spread the word that I was looking. Everything I could turn up was too small, too young, too old, not quite sound, etc. I realized I didn't want just another horse to have another body in the barn, I wanted another Marc."
Knotts' efforts to find a horse that had the same qualities as her prized Lippizan stallion, Marc, (Pluto III Marcella) would lead her to Texas A&M University and equine reproduction expert, Dr. Katrin Hinrichs. "My local veterinarian, Dr. Brad Newman, mentioned that Texas A&M was cloning, but it was when Dr. Adam Eichelberger joined Newman Equine that we began to pursue the possibilities."
Dr. Hinrichs' lab is noted for achieving the first cloned foal in North America, and the third in the world with Paris Texas, who arrived in 2005. The lab has since produced twelve cloned foals. Currently there are only three labs in the world that have reported the successful birth of cloned horses – Texas A&M University, Viagen (a commercial venture based in Texas), and the lab of Dr. Cesare Galli, in Italy.
"We have worked on this clone for about two years," said Hinrichs, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology. "This is actually our first foal produced using oocytes, or egg cells, from live mares. We recovered the oocytes from our herd of research mares using the same method used to recover eggs from women for in vitro fertilization. We used the oocytes for the cloning process, which made it difficult as we had very few to work with at any one time. During the cloning process, we tested a new technique that has been reported in mice to decrease birthing problems. Mrs. Knotts has been very supportive of our efforts to clone her horse, and has even named the foal 'Mouse' in honor of the research that produced him."
The process began with a biopsy of skin cells from Marc, the horse to be cloned. Through the cloning process using oocytes recovered from a live mare, viable embryos were developed and sent to Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, an embryo transfer facility in North Texas which works closely with Hinrichs' lab, for transfer into surrogate mares. Minnie, the mare carrying Mouse, stayed in North Texas for approximately 200 days, then was sent to her new home in Florida.
Minnie began to show signs of an early delivery, and was taken to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for observation and intervention. That's where Mouse arrived and was cared for by a team of neonatal experts that helped make sure he would make it through this critical time.
"Having Minnie with us for several months prior to foaling has been great," added Knotts. "The teamwork between Dr. Hinrichs and her colleagues at the University of Florida has been outstanding, frankly saving Mouse's life more than once before and after birth.
Hinrichs noted that while Mouse is truly an identical twin to the original horse, Marc, that there will be differences as the foal grows due to environmental influences.
"I have become really interested in the science involved," notes Knotts. "Dr. Hinrichs has been wonderful about keeping me up on what is going on in the lab and feeds my interest by explaining things in terms I can largely understand. I am very proud of the contributions our project has made to the body of knowledge about cloning, which benefits far more areas of equine reproduction than most realize."
For media inquiries, please contact Dr. Katrin Hinrichs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Angela Clendenin at email@example.com
Katrin Hinrichs | EurekAlert!
'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry
23.10.2017 | Rice University
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine