Newcastle scientists in world
UNIVERSITY of Newcastle researchers who revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog using cloning technology have been named in Time magazine’s top 25 inventions of the year.
The Lazarus Project which developed ”de extinction” technology with the potential to resurrect vanished species was the only Australian invention to crack the global list, which featured mostly technological advances including virtual reality headsets and disaster response robots.
Undertaken in labs at the University of Newcastle, the breakthrough genome technology could hera Louboutin Shoes ld a new era in global biodiversity and conservation management.
It has already been successfully applied to the gastric brooding frog a unique species which incubated its young in its stomach and gave birth through its mouth which became extinct in 1983 and could lead to the revival of the Tasmanian tiger or even dinosaurs.
Project leader and University of Newcastle biology professor Michael Mahony said last night the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) DNA presented bigger challenges than the frog material as the sample was from a specimen stored in alcohol for more than 100 years, so was not in top condition.
However, when posed with the question of a real life Jurassic Park, he was slightly more optimistic.
”Potentially, if the DNA is still there,” he said.
”If you have nuclear material you have something to start with.”
As well as Professor Mahony, the team included University of Newcastle father and son researchers Dr John Clulow and Simon Clulow, who were assisted by cloning specialists Dr Andrew French and Dr Jitong Guo.
It was overseen by paleontologist and University of NSW Professor Mike Archer.
Professor Mahony said the breakthrough could lead to the construction of a genome bank for all of Australia’s native animals, which could be run like an IVF clinic.
Known as somatic cell nuclear transplantation, the cloning technology had never previously been successfully applied to dead tissue.
In repeated experiments over four years, the nuclei of donor eggs from the distantly related great barred frog were inactivated and replaced with dead nuclei from the gastric brooding frog.
The result was eggs spontaneously dividing and growing to early embryo stage.
Although none of the embryos survived beyond a few days, genetic tests confirmed that the dividing cells contain the genetic material from the extinct frog.
Professor Mahony believed that if the team kept working for ”two or three” years they could create a living gastric brooding frog.
Professor Mahony said the recognition the research received from Time magazine was ”quite incredible”.
”To be listed among the world’s top 25 innovations by really one of the only truly international magazines is quite amazing,” he said.
TIME MAGAZINE’S TOP 25 INVENTIONS OF 2013
1 D Louboutin Shoes riverless toy car: a racing game in which toy cars drive themselves
2 Gravity lightbox: a structure covered with 196 panels of LED bulbs to simulate the extreme light in outer space for Louboutin Shoes the movie Gravity
3 Alcoholic coffee: a coffee based beverage that’s about 80 proof, like te Louboutin Shoes quila and vodka
4 Sony’s smart lens: the DSC QX100 has all the fixings of a high quality digital camera but clips to your smartphone.
5 The Cronut: made of croissant style pastry that’s fried like a doughnut, filled with cream and topped with glaze
6 The Mission R: an electric motorcycle that has a top speed of 240km/h and a range of up 225km.
7 The Plus Pool: an Olympic size pool that will float in New York’s East River and clean the water at the same time.
8 The Oculus Rift: a virtual reality headset that puts the gamer inside the game.
10 The invisible skyscraper: South Korea’s Tower Infinity will use a combination of LEDs and cameras to give the appearance of being invisible to people on the ground.