Freeze those testes: frozen in time – Part II

Wagyu bull
Image via Wikipedia

A few days ago I wrote about the group that cloned mice from tissue taken from a carcass thrown into a -80 freezer for 16 years. Now news comes that numerous bulls were cloned from tissue taken from frozen testicles (again like the mouse experiment nothing special was done to preserve the tissue before freezing).

In the freely available PLOS one paper Hoshino et. al., 2009 researchers publish the next progression in this on going biological story. Yasufuku, one of the most famous bulls in the history of Wagyu cattle breeding, was the choice to be cloned. He was well known for increasing the marbling quality of Wagyu beef. Yasufuku died in September 1993 at the age of 13.5. After being dead for 12 hours his testicles were collected, wrapped in tin foil, and placed in a -80 freezer without cryoprotectants. After 10 years the cells were transferred to being stored in liquid nitrogen.

After thawing out the tissue cells were collected from spermatic cords. The un-frozen cells proliferated in culture. Using somatic cell nuclear transfer the researchers ‘transferred’ the DNA content into enucleated bovine oocytes. Later, cloned blastocysts were transferred into recipient animals to carry the fetus to term.

The group was successful in producing 4 live clones. One died shortly after birth, but three calves are healthy. Tada living clones were produced from long dead tissue.


So if you want a clone of you running around long after you are dead just ask a close friend to dissect out your testicles (or ovaries) after your are dead (yes, make sure the friend understand to perform this after you have deceased), wrap them in tin foil and throw them into the -80 freezer (science labs have -80 freezers). Then just need to ask a friend that has some appropriate biotechnology training (in the near future anybody will be able to learn it off the net) to ‘re-animate’ you by using somatic nuclear cell transfer to clone you (make sure you get all this in writing with your friends 😉 ).

Your friends could make a party of it – complete with facebook invites – ‘Re-animate Fred Party’ will you be attending? Give it another 20 or so years and you can party again with your old friend Fred – the old gang reunited. All in good fun 😉

2 comments for “Freeze those testes: frozen in time – Part II

  1. CC
    January 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I’d love to give those rat-cloning or cow-cloning news the ‘still no cure for cancer’ tag.
    There’re so many things people can do with genetic technology, like producing better drought-resistant and faster-growing crops, other than resurrecting the cow prized for its high quality meat in hopes that it sires more high quality cows so more rich people can enjoy good tasting beef.

  2. Ward
    January 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm


    good points – I agree fully.