• Thu, Mar 21 2013

A Duck Has Fathered A Chicken (& Apparently This Is Just The Beginning)

chicks and ducklingsBecause genetically modified food has been working out sooo well for everyone, scientists in Dubai decided to take their experiments a bit further. The Central Veterinary Research Labratory originally injected a duck’s DNA to produce eggs and sperm into a chicken hoping to make more fertile hens. But when the chicken produced duck sperm, the researchers decided to take things a bit further. Now, we have ducks fathering chickens, and it might not stop there.

Mike McGrew, a scientist at the Roslin Institute who works closely with the Dubai team, gave a TEDx talk this year about the additional plans of the research. The idea is to apply the current research and have chickens give birth to a variety of different bird speeches, from songbirds to eagles. And ultimately, McGrew believes that the technique can be used to breed endangered animals or even bring back extinct ones.

While most of us would be excited to hear of a plan to help endangered species and even bring back ones we couldn’t protect in time, I think I speak for the entire staff of Blisstree when I say, “What the what?”

There’s no getting around it. The collective response of the team here was a few moments of jaw-dropped sputtering and a couple audible gasps. I believe the general consensus was best described by Sam, “I’d like to take this moment to voice that science is totally amazing/crazy/terrifying.” Animals giving birth to other species of animals is definitely terrifying.

The researchers in Dubai are working with the same people who cloned Dolly the sheep, so it shouldn’t really be shocking that they’re pushing the boundaries to test what’s possible.

Genetics aside though, I have to wonder if our energies wouldn’t be better spent trying to protect the habitats and food sources of our endangered species, instead of looking for new ways to grow them. After all, the animals might be able to take care of the breeding themselves if us humans just gave them the space and time to do so. It doesn’t matter how many eagles you birth to chickens if they don’t have any safe place to live or food to hunt.

(Photo: My Good Images/Shutterstock)

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  • penislover69

    species*, not speeches haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/dhthomson David Hueler Thomson

    can’t wait until they get good enough to engineer animals that never existed.

    • ardlz

      yes!!1 i would love my own pokemon pls

  • STEP TO FAR

    NO SCIENCE!…NO!
    NAUGHTY SCIENCE!

    • X

      hahahaha…how apt but chastising always makes them want to do it more :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/KaracaPow Kara Ca Pow

    I imagine that GMO “solo well for everyone” comment was sarcasm…. has everyone gone mad?

  • JoeShmoeGoBrainGo

    Of course, something amazing happens in science and you guys are terrified. Now, let’s put a stop on this because it might lead to a breakthrough that we might be scared of. How bout we let science do it’s thing. If it’s scary or not, it’ll lead to more breakthroughs, and unlike politicians, scientists learn from their mistakes. If something goes astray, you can trust they’re the ones who’ll fix it as well. Hell, everyone was afraid of computers when they were popping up, now look.

    • ardlz

      but it always help to be cautious. resident evil man!! resident evil!!!

  • Phil

    Bring it on, I want a pet Dodo.

  • Kat

    Science today is f…kn insanity! Ethics has completely gone out of the window!

    • http://twitter.com/EnigmaHood EnigmaHood

      And what’s wrong about this? Uhh, let’s see…. NOTHING! Your irrational fears have no basis in reality young one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.garrick.5 Anthony Garrick

    first of all Lindsay…. DO NOT write about science… especially if your report is going to be so vague on the scientific procedure that it seems you either have no clue how it worked or you’re just making a hoax… Second of all … i didnt know ANY birds gave birth… let alone DUCKS!.. so thats news to me…. and last of all i think you meant species* not speeches … that is all

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515190110 Brian ‘Chino’ Mendicino

    I’ll take a mini mastodon whenever science gets the chance…

  • dwhitti777

    There are people out there working on saving habitats for endangered species…. but it’s not helping fast enough. The problem needs to be attacked on multiple fronts. Bad pun… but: “We shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket.” – https://www.facebook.com/#!/ScienceInABlender

  • http://www.facebook.com/Chris.83.Taylor Chris Taylor

    You people realize that animals birthing Species with similar DNA, and bringing back “extinct” animals using their DNA, leaves us at the beginning of an actual Jurassic Park. I think that is amazing.