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China create world’s first cloned wild Arctic wolf ‘Maya’

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    22nd Sep, 2022


A wild Arctic wolf was successfully cloned for the first time in the world by a Beijing-based gene firm.


  • A Beijing-based gene firm had succeeded in cloning the Arctic Wolf to prevent the endangered species from going extinct.
  • The newly cloned wolf was named Maya, which means good health.
  • The donor cell of the wolf came from a skin sample of a wild female Arctic Wolf. 
    • Its oocyte was obtained from a dog.
  • The cloning process involved the construction of 137 new embryos from enucleated (process of removing nucleus from the cell) oocytes and somatic cells.
    • 85 embryos were transferred to the uteri of seven beagles.
  • The beagle was chosen as the surrogate mother since this dog breed is found to share genetic ancestry with ancient wolf.

What is cloning?

  • Cloning is the process of producing living organisms, including cells, tissues etc., with identical genetic materials either through natural or artificial means. 
    • In nature, some organisms produce clones through asexual reproduction. 
  • Artificially, the first animal to be cloned was a sheep named Dolly. 
    • It was created in 1996 by a Scottish scientist using an udder cell from an adult sheep.
  • Recently, in July 2022, Japanese scientists have succeeded in producing cloned mice using freeze-dried skin cells. 
  • This new breakthrough makes it possible to practice bio-banking, which involves saving animal cells and creating clones from them.

Types of artificial cloning

  • There are three different types of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning.
    • Gene cloning produces copies of genes or segments of DNA.
    • Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals.
    • Therapeutic cloning produces embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.

About Arctic Wolf

  • The Arctic Wolf is also known as white wolf or polar wolf. 
  • It is native to the High Arctic tundra of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands. 
  • It is a subspecies of the grey wolf. 
  • This medium-sized wolf is smaller than the Alaskan timber wolf. 
  • Since the 1930s, there has been a significant decline in the size of the Arctic wolf’s skull because of the wolf-dog hybridization.

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