Sunday, February 22, 2015

Battle of the clones: when will a replica horse win Olympic gold? - Full Article

By Ollie Williams, for CNN
Updated 1612 GMT (0012 HKT) February 20, 2015

(CNN)To the untrained eye, Tomatillo looks like any horse.

To those in the know, the 18-month-old looks like one horse.

Tomatillo is the clone of Tamarillo -- a famous eventing horse who reached the Olympics in 2004.

Twelve years have passed since humans first successfully cloned a horse. The science is developing fast, but remains imperfect.

The current process takes a sample of cells from a horse's neck, swaps the nucleus of one of those cells into an equine egg, then gives that egg a small electric shock to stimulate development before it is placed inside a recipient mare and carried to term.

Yet Tomatillo, and a handful of others, represent near-exact replicas of sporting excellence and pose an important question: are we going to start seeing clones at the world's top equestrian events?

At the Olympic Games of the future, will a horse compete against itself for gold?...

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