We’ve found the first documented wild Grolar Bear. Polar bears and grizzlys arent’ very suimilar, it’s not like a polar bear is a white grizzly bear, they are very seperate species with different facial features. They diverged evolutionaryily 4-5 million years ago. Yet they can still interbreed and create fertile offspring. And intebreeding has occured throughout their evolutionary history. They each have their own evolutionary nich based on climate. Since polar bears are losing climate they are overlapping with grizzly territory during the spring time. You’ve heard that if 2 animals can breed and produce fertile offspring then they’re the same species. That’s a lie though, and we don’t really know hwere the line bettrween species and subspecies is, but we are sure they are not the sam espeices. This is because the 2 species have diffwerent morphologies, social behaviors, feedon behavior and metabolisms, each designed for a very specific ecological niche. But we know the offspring a fertile because a bear was shoit that was 1/4 polar bear, the odffspring of a bown bear and a groler bear. The average grizzly has 2% polar bear DNA, in northern populations it can go up to 10%. The northern range of the grizzly bear has been increasing as the temperature becomes more mild. Polar bears are forced onto land as the ice melts. One convention of naming hybrids is to put the pfather’s name first in the portmanteau and the mother second. If the ftaher was a polar bear, it would be a pizzly bear.
Ligers are amazing animals, the stripes are as vivid as tigers and doesn’t lose its mane. Take a jaguar and cross it with a lion you’ll get a Jaglion, a lion with very vivid markings on it, it almost looks fake. I just hope someone figures out how to make them a household pet. Leopon is what happens when you cross a leopard with a lion. Although the spots are faded and the mane isn’t as thick or majestic. The first person to breed them wasn’t super successful had one of the two cubs die soon after iots birth, the other surivved for much longer. They were sterile until someone recenetly tried to breed one with a lion jaguar hybrid, called a leolaguar. A Cama is a camel bred with a lama, it was created to be extra fluffy so we could get more wool out of them. Unlike many other hybrids Camas are fertile and have been succesfully bred with other camas in order to scale up wool production. Grolar bears seem more likely to survive the changing artic climate, so we’ll definitely be seeing more of them soon enough. Theres an even more interstic animal called a chimera. Instead of breeding a sheep with a goat, scientists merged embryos of the 2 animals in order to create a chimera, you may have heard the word in Full Metal Alchemist? The Chimera’s patches of wool and you’ll know it really isn’t from science fiction.
As incredible as it sounds, life itself has become a programmable machine. Fars in Utah are using chimaeras on an industrial scale. You can’t farm spiders, they are cannibalstic and will kill eat other if you don’t jhave enouhg to do it. Spiders are unfarmable. Regular goats have been engineered to produce spider silk, with a fiber stronger than kevlar. The goats have the genes for spiders in them.
GMOS, the Spidergoat, Spiders create a silk sting that uses to make their web, one spider in poarticular , the golden orb weaver spider, it builds a special silk called sdragline silk that it uses to catch itself when it falls. It is stronger than Kevlar and 100x stronger than human ligaments. The structure is so complex that not even synthetic chemists can make this in a lab, so you’d need to get the product directly from the spider. But how do we collect large enough quantities from tiny spiders. You could build a spider farm, except that the golden orb weaver is highly canniabalistic, you can’t host them in a farm situation. You can’t farm them, but you still want to study the potentiality of the silk, but at Utah State University ownded farm, Dr. Lewis harvests large amounts of the silk by taking the silk gene and putting it into a goat, which is easier to farm and yeild a lot of product tat is easier attainable? The thing tat goats produce is milk, the silk gene produces the silk in the goat milk. The protein can be filtered out of the milk, from this purified proetin comes the silk fibers. To make it into the actual fiber. When you put parts of it together, when the frayed ends touch each other, they lock together like lego blocks forming a strand of fiber. It can then be rolled onto a spool to make one continuous thread to make the best possible bullet proof vests. Terre are many applications in the medical filed as well, with positive results in ligament repair, there’s also positive biochemical response, meaning it can go inside the body.
In full metal alchemist and the HG Wells novel, the island of Doctor Moreau, animals are created with human traits. First human pig chimeras. In 2017 it’s been an important year for organ transplants. Game changingly important. In one paper published in the journal nature a group of biologists announced that they genetically engineered a rat to grow a mouse’s pancreas then successfully used cells from that pancreas to supress diabetes in mice. and in another paper published on thrusday in the journal cell, a different group announced that they genetically engineered a pig embryo to grow with some human cells. There’s a long way to go before we can grow functioning human organs inside of other animals. But both studies mean we’re a lot closer. Right now the organs used in transplanmts hAVE to come from human donors, but the donor pool isn’t very big especially for essential organs like lungs and hearts which can only be donated when someone dies. It’s hard to find a match within that pool and even if you can the waiting list can be very long. Its why Researchers are looking into ways to grow human organs inside other animals like pigs, so doctors could grow whatever healthy functional orgamns they need. The same team that published the paper actually created the first combined Rat-Mice in 2010. Any animal with a mix of cells with different genes is called a Chimera, and these were the first rat-mouse chimeras to be grown from embryos and survive. To do this they injected rat stem cells into mouse embryos which had been genetically engineered so none of the mouse stem cells could develop into pancreatic tissue. The embryos grew into rat-mouse chimeras with mixtures of rat and mouse cells throughout their bodies EXCEPT for the pancrease, because only the rat stem cells could grow into pancreatic tissu. What if we could make a pig human chimeras but rig the embryo to make sure pig cells won’t be included in the organs. The researchers were aiming to ttransplant new islet into rats with type 1 diabetes to get them to start producing insulin again. The study published in january 2017, they injected mouse stem cells into rat embryos, and these embryos grew into rat mouse chimeras that were fully mouse, this time the pancreases were rat sized so the researchers could get enough islets to perform transplants, they took the islets from the mouse pancreases and transplanted them into mice with type 1 diabetes to the mice produced insulin ahgain and the disease was supressed. When it comes to orgamns the pancreas is very simple, so this isn’;t quiote the same as a heart or lung, that’d be much more complicated, but we know transplants from chimeras CAn actually work. The goal of this research is to eventually grow human organs inside a species with similar sized organs like a pig or cow. The paper published in cell mentions human pig chimeras by injecting human stem cells into pig embryos, but that’s a lot harder than a rat-mouse chimera because humans and pigs have much less DNA in common than rats and mice. Also pig fetiuses only take about 16 weeks to develop while human fetuses take 40 weeks so human stem cells and pig stem cells develop at different rates, this make it harder for human cells to survive and become a healthy integrated part of a pig embryo. In the study researchers injected human stem cells into pig embryos and implanted the embryos in to female pigs, they let the fetuses for 3-4 weeks then euthenized them so they could analyze the cells int he lab. They found that the chimeras had developed with some human cells but not very many of them and even fewer of them grew to a typical healthy size. The fetuses were mostly pig with some human cells spirnkled in among the developing muslces and organs. But still, they did it, the researchers made the first humanpig chimeras and are hoping that the process can be improved to the point where pigs can be grown with specific human tissues or entire organs. There are lots of extra challenges involved in the research though and it’s contraversial because nobody wasnts people growing pigs with human brains. We are a long way from being able to do anything like that buit scientists researching chimeras are being very careful about the kinds of experiments they try. Someday these chimeras might be able to grow functional vital organs that people need. Perhaps we might want to try making a chimera of a closer relative, a chimpanzee. But mass farming these animals for our organs would most definitely be illegal, as chimps are so close to humans there would definitely be ethical objections.
Chimeras are fascinating but a little creepy, not the mythological ones, but actual chimeras organisms that contain the genetic information of more than one individual, and yes this is a real thing. They are usually formed in the very early stages of embryonic development when 2 zygotes fuse into one, and the resulting chimera basically ends up being it’s own fraternal twin. You end up with weird conditions, like if you were a male and female fraternal twin sometimes you get one ovary and one testicle with literally different genetic information in them.