Cross-posted from the Philadelphia Enquirer
Before the show-jumping champion Gem Twist died in 2006, his New Jersey owners paid to have a flap of his skin frozen – hoping to carry something of his prodigious talent into the future.
Veterinary scientists later pulled those skin cells from the freezer and used them to clone a new horse, now a healthy, spirited 5-month-old named Gemini.
As a clone, Gemini carries the same genetic code as Gem Twist, who won Olympic medals and other high honors over his 27-year life. Today, the question is: Will Gemini inherit Gem Twist’s exceptional grace, daring and strength?
Ever since the news broke in 1997 about the cloning of Dolly the sheep, pundits have speculated on the possibility of replicating Michael Jordan’s jump shot, Babe Ruth’s batting power, or Mikhail Baryshnikov’s grand jeté.
Now, the first cloned athletes are growing up – and while none are human, they still may show how far DNA can go in endowing extraordinary talents. Philly.com >>