Researchers revive dead and extinct frog using somatic-cell nuclear transferMarch 18, 2013 9 Email article | Print article
We’ve seen some cool things here on dotTech, such as cloning clones, coffee with portraits, and DNA being used as a data storage mechanism. However, if I were to pick the coolest of them all, I’d have to say bring a dead frog to life tops the list. And that is exactly what has hapened: researchers from University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle (both Australian universities) have been working on a project that allowed them to revive a dead frog. Seriously.
Dubbed ‘Lazarus Project’, thanks to a procedure called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, the scientists took nuclei from a dead and extinct frog — the Rheobatrachus silus, a frog extinct since 1983 and best known for eating its eggs and giving birth through its mouth — put it inside eggs from another frog (replacing that other frog’s nuclei), and were able to induce embryonic growth of the Rheobatrachus silus. Unfortunately that is as far as it got — the eggs died after a few days and no frogs were actually born. However, the fact that the scientists were able to make a dead frog reproduce — even if that reproduction resulted in no new frogs — is a major scientific advancement and has the right to claim honors for bringing back the dead… literally.
Pretty cool, no? The best part is the scientists are not stopping here. They plan on trudging forward to see if they can bypass hurdles and get some baby frogs hopping. Only time will tell if they succeed, but if they do…