Zoo to bring dead animals back to life, ‘Jurassic Park’-style

The London Daily Telegraph reports: “Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and San Diego Zoo have collaborated to create stem cells from the skin cells of a dead drill monkey, an endangered monkey native to Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The scientists, speaking at the International Society for Stem Cell Research in San Francisco, hope that the ‘induced pluripotent stem’ (iPS) cells thus created can then be biochemically persuaded into becoming sperm and egg cells. They can then be implanted into the womb of another monkey, and will hopefully form a viable foetus.

San Diego Zoo’s Frozen Zoo project has taken samples from 8,400 individuals of more than 800 species. It is hoped that these samples can be used in IVF programmes to improve captive breeding projects.

Jeane Loring, one of the Scripps researchers, told New Scientist : ‘You could actually breed from animals that are dead.’

The team used genetically engineered viruses fitted with specific human genes to reprogramme adult skin cells into becoming iPS cells. The process worked in drill monkeys, but failed in white rhinoceros cells, implying that it may be necessary to use species-specific versions of the cells in some cases.

There are also concerns that the reprogramming process can cause the iPS cells to become cancerous. However, other researchers have developed techniques for creating iPS cells without leaving the reprogrammed genes in the new cells.

While the process is being used on endangered species, it would be technically possible to use it for extinct animals, using surrogate mothers from other species…” (“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4.)

LHC smashes beam collision record

BBC News reports: “Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) say they have moved a step closer to their aim of unlocking the mysteries of the Universe.

The world’s highest-energy particle accelerator has produced a record-breaking particle collision rate – about double the previous rate.

The collider is now generating around 10,000 particle collisions per second, according to physicist Andrei Golutvin.

The LHC is housed in a 27km circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border.

The vast machine is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), based near Geneva in Switzerland.

Physicists say this marks the start of turning the LHC into the world’s most powerful particle collider.

‘It’s clear that the LHC is the new boy in town, but in two years running we’re going to put Fermilab out of business,’ operation group leader Mike Lamont told BBC News.

The Tevatron particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois, USA, is the LHC’s rival. It has operated at higher intensities, but the current collision rate is a record for Cern.

The LHC is expected to overtake the American machine in due course.

Over the past few months, LHC engineers have slowly and carefully increased the energy and intensity of the proton beams which race around the collider’s 27km-long ‘ring’.

…Engineers smashed together two beams consisting of three ‘bunches’ of protons particles.

For the first time, these bunches were at ‘nominal’ intensity – the intensity the LHC was designed to work at. This means each bunch consisted of as many as 100 billion protons.

The LHC smashed together its first two particle beams travelling at close to the speed of light in November 2009.

At the moment, it is running at half the energy it was designed for, but the scientists aim to take the machine to the top energy of seven tera-electronvolts (TeV) per beam by 2013…” (Mankind will never duplicate God’s work of creation. Man’s Big Bang attempt could become a devastating experiment – Genesis 1:1 and Luke 21:26.)