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View Full Version : Cloning- how long until the dressage world starts this?



Peace
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:29 PM
Gem Twist the famous jumper has been cloned and the colt is 8 months old I think. So how soon before they decide to clone Totilas?


http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2008/09/105.shtml

spotted mustang
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:19 PM
haven't they cloned Poetin already?

Personally, I'm more interested in when they'll start cloning the riders.

CatOnLap
Sep. 18, 2009, 05:51 PM
your horse will cost you $367,350 plus a patent royalty fee of 15% based on the number of clones produced and their estimated value, according to Peter Kagel, founder and president of http://www.horsecloning.com. Kagel estimates that for your money you could end up with 0 to 16 clones.

The same University of Idaho team, headed by the renowned Gordon Woods, PhD, which successfully cloned 3 mules in 2003, will perform the cloning. (Please see chennaionline.com/science/mule.asp; also please see uidaho.edu/cloning.)

"It's a bit of a gamble with a huge potential payoff," stated Kagel. "Because while there are no guarantees, and on the bottom end you could end up with no clones, on the top end it is estimated, due to advances in science and cloning protocols since 2003, that you could end up with 16 clones from the 100 mares that will be impregnated with your horse's DNA. So if the horse you are cloning is worth $100,000 you could end up with a tidy profit of over $1,000,000 or thereabouts. That's a lot more money than your stallion or mare is likely to produce over several breeding seasons, plus you don't know the quality of horse you will get from breeding."

"Horse cloning is the wave of the future," Kagel went on. "People are only going to clone quality horses, the top-of-the-bloodline champions. Eventually cloning will allow today's economically unattainable horse to be purchased by the middle-class horse aficionado.

...
"The evidence is solid that clones appear to be normal, have the ability to bear offspring and live just as long if not longer than regularly bred animals." (Human Cloning Report and BBC Report)

oh yeah, the average middle class horse owner will fork out nearly $400K for a horse. Uh-huh!?!

BaroquePony
Sep. 18, 2009, 07:10 PM
Well, the William Gibson future is finally upon us :uhoh:

slc2
Sep. 18, 2009, 07:14 PM
I don't think it really is. Cloning is going to be very expensive for quite a while. I'm not really sure cloning really is what people think it is. It's not like cloning the president in the woody allen movie.

egontoast
Sep. 18, 2009, 07:17 PM
Rusty was cloned a few years ago.

What has red hair and lives in a test tube?

Denali
Sep. 19, 2009, 08:39 AM
Cloning is alive and well in the QH breeding world. I met a handful of versions of one successful stallion just yesterday... It will catch on in Sport Horses eventually.

BaroquePony
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:19 AM
I thought there were actual "problems" with clones that has to do with the age of the cell used and aging of the cells that develop. They don't "age" normally. Any experts here?

slc2
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:40 AM
some kind of telomere problem early on. don't know if it's necessarily a problem now.

BaroquePony
Sep. 19, 2009, 10:22 AM
What is telomere?

mvp
Sep. 19, 2009, 10:49 AM
How is this going to help the middle class afford good horses?

In the short term, of course, only the ueber wealthy will buy the clones.

Should cloning become the way of the future, I suppose that clones will be the higher priced animals and few will want to take the comparative risk of breeding the old fashioned way. So traditionally bred, very young horses may become the new, cheaper horse.

But in the long term, doesn't it stand to reason that cloning will really screw things up by creating a genetically homogeneous population? Then no one-- rich or poor-- will be able to buy their way out of the effects of inbreeding.

If you know enough physiological genetics to think about cloning, it seems to me that you ought to read up on some population genetics, too.

OverandOnward
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:00 AM
Putting on highly-decorated swami turban ...

They will overcome the technical issues with cloning. In a very, very few years clones will be indistinguishable from any other horse (if not already.)

Cloning will someday be an important source of horses for adult amateur and junior riders and owners who want a known quantity. "Expensive" will be comparable to the cost of obtaining a good quality horse anyway. The big market for cloning isn't just the re-creation of outstanding professional equine performers, it's also the horse-loving amateurs and juniors (and parents,) who want predictability. And in some cases, a newer younger version of a current favorite will be more desirable for some amateurs/juniors than taking on a less-known new personality. There's a demographic element, I predict this will be ever more true as the majority of riders are aging.

And once the clone is mature, a trained clone horse is just another horse to consider when horse-shopping, it won't matter how he was conceived. The day will come when buyers won't always know that an undocumented mature horse for sale is a clone - nor will it really matter. When horse-shopping do you ask if a horse was conceived through AI?

And I do believe that in the future the cost of creating a clone will be comparable to buying or breeding naturally. Someday it could even be less expensive.

So I believe the answer to the op is that within 10 years it will be common for horse owners will be considering clones along with naturally-conceived horses as their next horse. (But probably not universal, it will take more time to develop a clone population.)

I also believe that in the future when the ultimate moment of passing over arrives for any horse of any age, a standard vet question will be "do you want to preserve DNA for a clone?" Even if Dear Sweetie isn't a perfect horse, he's your loved treasure, and you might like to continue the journey with a younger version. And this time around you'll fix all the mistakes that were made with version #1.

Once people asked the same questions about AI and surrogate mare moms carrying the offspring of actively performing mares. There was even once a question if AI would ever be accepted by the general horse-owning population. Now we take those technologies for granted. I predict the same destiny for cloning.

The QH people seem to be trail-breaking once again in reproductive technology with their work on clones. I have no doubt the rest of the horse world will follow, once again. The QH registry is already figuring out what to do about several clone foals.

IMO the real issue with cloning is the shrinking gene pool. But that's already with us through the other breeding technologies. And who knows, perhaps at this moment in history it's more good than bad, with shrinking space for horses and less interest in lower-quality horses.

Sorry to go on ... taking off swami-turban. :)

OverandOnward
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:07 AM
How is this going to help the middle class afford good horses?
...

I think creative, entrepreneurial breeders will make it cost-effective to duplicate the horse adult amateurs already have. I think some number of amateurs will like the idea of starting over with a new version their current favorite. They will feel more comfortable they know what training directions to take. And they will like the idea of avoiding the inevitable training mistakes made on their current horse.

I think in time the middle class will like the greater predictability of a clone - both internal and behavioral. I think some will take on raising a horse from baby-hood that might not have done so otherwise.

mvp
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:18 AM
And I to think the technical crap is important here.

First, contrary to what OverandOnward's post implied, the ability to clone does not easily lead to the ability to design phenotype for the next generation. That's because we know far too little about genetic interaction, regulation and expression during ontogenetic development. In short, if you can't tell a story that goes from genes all the way to, say, fugly crooked legs, you can't design a better genetic blue print for straighter legs. In addition, most of the phenotypic characters we care about-- often proportions of bones, but also complicated structures like necks, have very complicated genetic causes.

Second, cloning does not cause the gene pool of an interbreeding population to contract in a way that's different from AI, or the use of frozen semen. On the contrary, I think it threaten to homogenize that group in exactly the same way: It advertises the possibility of getting in on a very hot genetic combination.... over and over... until there are comparatively few genetic alternatives. Cloning just gets the job done faster than do our current repro techniques that allow people to create breeding stock that are unnaturally fecund.

It might encourage people to see breeding stock as a good investment because the eggs and semen their animals have can be harvested, preserved and used to produce many more foals than would be possible otherwise. Those same breeders would, understandably, try to promote their animals as *the one* to breed to. That will work for awhile, but if it works too well, we will be screwed. Mutation rates-- the source of new genetic variations-- are quite low, and the chance production of a genetic variation that we consider advantageous is even smaller. It seems to me that the problems associated with a homogeneous populations are large and tough to undo.

Peace
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:26 AM
I personally think it is creepy and immoral. JMO

mvp
Sep. 19, 2009, 11:46 AM
IIRC, a telomere is a thread in the cytoplasm of a cell that pulls dividing chromosomes toward their respective poles during meiosis.

And as far cloning being creepy and immoral... if it is, then it is in all the same ways that all the manipulative stuff back to artificial selection are. JMO, but ethics are a point worth considering as it becomes technologically possible to bigger, better, faster. The quality of life for animals with genetic diseases are my gold standard for moral questions.

BaroquePony
Sep. 19, 2009, 12:33 PM
Well, AI has been responsible for the rapid spread of some very poor traits in a nice looking outside package. AI is nice in some ways ... ie convenient for certain situations, but problematic in many.

Doesn't the throughbred racing community still demand live breeding? Most of the high quality dog breeders I know do not favor AI for very specific reasons. Live breed only. Dogs are easier to see long term genetic problems in because they breed more often, grow up much faster and have more progeny to base studies on.

Personally, I am not in favor of cloning.

BaroquePony
Sep. 19, 2009, 12:40 PM
The quality of life for animals with genetic diseases are my gold standard for moral questions.

Culling via slaughterhouse was a viable solution if the humans had been able to figure out a more humane way of transportation, handling and killing.

Death is a part of life, whether people want to except that or not.

Ethics and enabling ethical treatment of animals, including humane slaughter, would be a better soltuion in my opinion.

Cloning is going to reduce genetic diversity and I really don't think cloning for amateaur dressage riders is ethical at all. Half of them don't ride very well and many are too ignorant to take good care of the horse/s they already have.

How about better education?

ridgeback
Sep. 19, 2009, 01:02 PM
Well, AI has been responsible for the rapid spread of some very poor traits in a nice looking outside package. AI is nice in some ways ... ie convenient for certain situations, but problematic in many.

Doesn't the throughbred racing community still demand live breeding? Most of the high quality dog breeders I know do not favor AI for very specific reasons. Live breed only. Dogs are easier to see long term genetic problems in because they breed more often, grow up much faster and have more progeny to base studies on.

Personally, I am not in favor of cloning.

Yes to be registered as a TB it must be live cover and the dog breeding thing isn't true. Most do AI but they also do live cover.

OverandOnward
Sep. 19, 2009, 01:02 PM
First, contrary to what OverandOnward's post implied, the ability to clone does not easily lead to the ability to design phenotype for the next generation. That's because we know far too little about genetic interaction, regulation and expression during ontogenetic development. In short, if you can't tell a story that goes from genes all the way to, say, fugly crooked legs, you can't design a better genetic blue print for straighter legs. In addition, most of the phenotypic characters we care about-- often proportions of bones, but also complicated structures like necks, have very complicated genetic causes.


Sorry but I think you entirely missed my point. Wasn't contemplating any changes to or redesign of the original animal. I think this is what people are not contemplating but there is in fact a market segment for ... duplicates of the original pet, flaws and all. Because of the emotional pet aspect over and above the performance aspect. There is a huge market of people who want predictability and perceived emotional continuance over perfection. :) (Those people might not be posting here.)

It is the training and life experience they get to improve upon. The 2nd time around I raise my horse from a baby, rather than getting him when he was 8 yo as I did the 1st time around.

BaroquePony
Sep. 19, 2009, 01:08 PM
The high quality dog breeders I know are willing to use AI, often do use AI, but they almost always agree that live cover is still considered the best. So, I guess we know different breeders. I tend to agree with the ones I know, but then maybe that is why I know them.

Also, I have known dog breeders who will tranquilize a female who refuses a specific male ... in my opinion a really wrong thing to do. And I have known breeders that have had a certain female refuse a certain male, so then they resort to AI to get the breeding of their desire .. NOT the dogs ... something else I think is a very bad practice.

ridgeback
Sep. 19, 2009, 01:42 PM
The high quality dog breeders I know are willing to use AI, often do use AI, but they almost always agree that live cover is still considered the best. So, I guess we know different breeders. I tend to agree with the ones I know, but then maybe that is why I know them.

Also, I have known dog breeders who will tranquilize a female who refuses a specific male ... in my opinion a really wrong thing to do. And I have known breeders that have had a certain female refuse a certain male, so then they resort to AI to get the breeding of their desire .. NOT the dogs ... something else I think is a very bad practice.

I said most dog breeders do use AI for many different reasons. The odds of getting one pregnant is higher with live breeding and cheaper.

mvp
Sep. 19, 2009, 08:48 PM
OverandOnward-- I certainly did miss your point! Apologies coming your way.

Thinking of my own "do it yourself" experience, I definitely would raise my horse better/faster the next time. But I'd do that with either this horse's clone or the next one very much like him that I bought. There are conformational defects that I would not buy or breed next time. I couldn't imagine that someone who wanted a complete "do over" of one animal, and was willing to pay for that, would not have learned enough about it's imperfections (and all horses have 'em) to not want either a) a slightly "better" set of problems they'd buy in the next horse or b) the known problems corrected before conception.

As to humane slaughter as a solution. I'm on board. But my point, in our Post-Impressive Syndrome moment, is to ask people to take the effects of inbreeding seriously such they don't create animals to slaughter.

OverandOnward
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:13 AM
OverandOnward-- I certainly did miss your point! Apologies coming your way.

Thinking of my own "do it yourself" experience, I definitely would raise my horse better/faster the next time. But I'd do that with either this horse's clone or the next one very much like him that I bought. There are conformational defects that I would not buy or breed next time. I couldn't imagine that someone who wanted a complete "do over" of one animal, and was willing to pay for that, would not have learned enough about it's imperfections (and all horses have 'em) to not want either a) a slightly "better" set of problems they'd buy in the next horse or b) the known problems corrected before conception.

As to humane slaughter as a solution. I'm on board. But my point, in our Post-Impressive Syndrome moment, is to ask people to take the effects of inbreeding seriously such they don't create animals to slaughter.

No problem. :)

Although I agree with you ... I'm more interested in a new experience than an attempted do-over ... I have no doubt that with horse and with house pets there are people who will go for the attempt to extend the experience with the current pet.

Here's a thought ... for horses at least ...
If as I predict there will be many more clones of 'pets' and favorites, over and above breeding stock, and if most are geldings as they are rides for amateurs/juniors, that won't affect the gene pool. Theoretically one gelding could be re-incarnated, as it were, indefinitely, one after the other. All geldings, for amateur/junior riders. Theoretically none are throwaways or potentially unwanted, as they are 'made to order,' as it were. IMO once cloning favorite geldings is accessible that will depress the market for breeding stock, and therefore cloned breeding stock. Of course many riders/owners will prefer the new breedings. [takes off swami turban again]

Cloning I think will be accessible to many horse owners within 5+ years. Dunno how long before customizing clones is with us, or if it will be cost-effective for very many owners, but I think it's inevitable.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:33 AM
Well maybe they will start cloning highly intelligient homo sapiens with ethics who are exceptional horsemen and sophisticated enough to develop an Independent Seat and be able to ride a varity of horses ... that would really turn things upside down.

Tiffani B
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:41 AM
Hundreds of horses are produced by big breeding operations in the hopes that one or two will be a big ticket seller. The rest are disposed of, some of which end up being bred by their new owners, when they shouldn't be.

Cloning might eliminate the over population issue. The "breeder" would know exactly what they were getting. No need to breed dozens just to get one good one.

I'm not sure how I feel about cloning, if clones should be allowed to be registered, breed, and compete in breed classes. A part of me would love to see some of the old genes brought back into the horse world, since as we've moved forward, we haven't always moved in the right direction. But a part of me acknowledges those genes are in the past and it's not right to mess with it.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:41 AM
IIRC, a telomere is a thread in the cytoplasm of a cell that pulls dividing chromosomes toward their respective poles during meiosis.

mvp, thanks for the definition. I'm rusty on my zoology.

For what it is worth, I am not in favor of genetic engineering and I think cloning is a bad idea for a huge variety of reasons.

And, there have been several animals that I would love to have cloned personally, but wouldn't do it just based on my self-centered desire to have them back. I am a naturalist essentially and I believe that diversity is a very important essential of life.

ETA: I don't think man's arrogance is panning out very well for the environment as it is right now. Besides with all of the gentically engineered grains that we have produced, which generally are hybrids, how are we going to feed the clones.

And if we want to stop the inbreeding of horses, perhaps we should start with stopping the inbreeding of homo sapien ...

Ambrey
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:44 AM
with ethics

Hmm, whose ethics? I suspect ethics aren't genetic ;)

As for the OP, I think the current cloning fad is going to show people how much of development is environmental.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:54 AM
I think clones should be registered as clones. The orignally breeding can be included on the papers.

On the cloning of QHs .. now there's a breed that I feel was really ruined through trendy breeding and AI, but mostly the trendy breeding ... overmuscled, butt-high with tiny feet prone to navicular. The old QH looked more like a cavalry remount - no comparison to what we have today.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:02 AM
Hmm, whose ethics? I suspect ethics aren't genetic ;)

Actually, as I understand it, "ethics" are in large part genetic. They can certainly be overridden by environment especially over long periods of time.

A sociopath would be a gentic example of a total lack of ehtics.

An the basic mutation can give a sociopath where one would not expect it, just as a mutation could give an altuistic behavior where one would not expect it.

Ahhh, the first blue-green algae to marry for love instead of whatever it is they eat :lol:

Ambrey
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:12 AM
The ability to have ethics might be in part genetic, but whose ethics you have is not.

grandprixjump
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:23 AM
Talent isn't just genetic... It can also be life experiences and maybe even injuries when young...

What I mean is, what if, Gem Twist was a great jumper because he was chased by a pasture mate as a weanling and jumped out of his pasture, decided the LOVED to jump and excelled at it. Without that experience, at that time, he might only reach level 4 or 5, instead of being a GP horse. Or maybe a horse was scratching it's belly on a limb sticking up and damaged it's abdominal muscles minorly due to getting too carried away with the itch, the way the damage healed, tightened or strengthened that area of muscle, and it would have been a problem area without that happening, so the clone, not having that issue, has lifetime lameness issues.

A lot of pro cloning people think if we get to the point of cloning people, the first should be Einstein. Without the life experiences he had, the clone might be happy as a janitor.

I'm not really pro or con of cloning, just don't think everyone is going to get what they want for the money it costs....

Actually Gem Twist, might be a great example, this new clone isn't being gelded, so right from the start, he ISN'T a duplicate of the Grand Prix jumper. He might not be comfortable jumping intact so he won't EXCEL at jumping.

OverandOnward
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:29 AM
A lot of pro cloning people think if we get to the point of cloning people, the first should be Einstein. Without the life experiences he had, the clone might be happy as a janitor.


And there you go. Someone who read a book all about Einstein told me that he never really accomplished anything other than the theory of relativity. Tried, didn't work out. According to this person who read the book.

So since the theory of relativity has already been done, there's nothing for the new Einstein to do. He'll just take up space for 85 years or so. (95 with the new demographic trends, and better diet and exercise.)

Right. Yep. ;) :yes: :cool:

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:30 AM
The ability to have ethics might be in part genetic, but whose ethics you have is not.

I'm not sure I get your drift here. "Whose ethics" would be defined. Meaning that in order to acieve a specific environment then "you" (or whoever) would define it.

An example based in the physical realm might be ... you can have a well-bred horse but if you don't take good care of it it will end up being a skinny broken down nag. If you have a poorly bred horse it won't matter what you feed it or how you ride it, it won't be able to do as much as the well-bred horse. If you have a well-bred horse AND you take good care of it, it will be able to excell to the maximum of its genetic abilty, where that would be defined by our idea of a specific horse sport. A horse born on free range can develop to suit the limits of the environment ... the weaker ones will get weeded out by predators or rough weather, etc..

Ethics would be the same thing only it is a bit more essoteric .. however, not out of the realm of the real physical world .. only out of the reach of our political system at the moment :lol:

ETA: certain things cannot be achieved without an ethical environment for them to be achieved in. Trying to accomplish certain things in an unethical environment is going to give you different results than if you try to achieve those same things in an ethical environment.

Ambrey
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:31 AM
Actually, Einstein was a brilliant physicist and mathematician, with a lot more than E=MC^2 as accomplishments.

But, he always had a little difficulty following rules ;)

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:38 AM
I agree wth granprixjump ... experience is a huge part of the mix. And many conformation faults have been overcome with the right environment/experiences.

Clones are not going to be what many think they are going to be.

OverandOnward
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:40 AM
... Cloning might eliminate the over population issue. The "breeder" would know exactly what they were getting. No need to breed dozens just to get one good one. ...


I agree. Individually cloned to order. And clones can be geldings for riding. No impact on the breeding gene pool. Although of course not breeding looses the opportunity for diversity in the population.


Hypothetically, in 75 years, what will judging be like in a class where several horses are clones of one outstanding individual? All making use of the training and riding techniques proven for clones of that individual? That could hypothetically be more germaine to dressage than to almost any other horse sport.

Ambrey
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:49 AM
I'm not sure I get your drift here. "Whose ethics" would be defined. Meaning that in order to acieve a specific environment then "you" (or whoever) would define it.


You just said to clone people with ethics- well, my idea of who "has ethics" might not be the same as yours, don't you think?

Truly antisocial people are not nearly as common as people who just didn't learn the manners/ethics we think they should have learned!

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:49 AM
I absolutley can't wait to go to a show where everyone shows up on the same horse :eek:

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 01:55 AM
You just said to clone people with ethics- well, my idea of who "has ethics" might not be the same as yours, don't you think?

Ok, right, I see what you are saying. Yes, that is a problem, ... however, I thing mathematically there is a point where individuals interface that becomes the area that you (collective you) look at in terms of what is harming one or another.

Example, how many people like being ripped off by someone who lied to them and stole their car (or whatever) ... not many, so that would be a typical point of ehtic definition.


people who just didn't learn the manners/ethics we think they should have learned!

This is sort of an example of people not respecting another's space or goal or whatever ... the supposed manners/ethics that were not learned according to the one who doesn't like it usually implies that the person lacking in ehtics/manners has stepped on the other's toes (interferred in their space or goals). Based on that there is already a difference of ethics ... So is it ok to let the suppsed person lacking in manners/ethics to mess around with the other person's goals .. or not? How does that fit into a society and then what kind of society is acceptable?

slc2
Sep. 20, 2009, 08:37 AM
I don't think 'experience' like getting chased out of a pasture makes horses great jumpers, and I don't think 'great jumpers like Gem Twist' are 'great jumpers' because they 'love' jumping. I don't think horses become what Gem Twist became that way. Great horses, are, I believe, basically just...lucky. They wind up with a trainer who knows how to train and develop them, they don't get injured, and they stay in a program, and they have someone who knows how to strategically plan a jumper's career.

I don't think it's some one little random event that 'makes' an elite horse. I think it's hundreds and hundreds of events and decisions and just the good fortune that the horse doesn't slip on a banana peel one day coming out of the barn.

I do get the idea of experiences being important in developing a specific ability, and I get people's reluctance to agree that 'genetics' (some sort of physically controlled traits that can be passed from one generation to another) alone will make clone horses just like their cloned-from ancestor. But I do NOT agree that great success is like a multi million dollar winning lottery ticket. I think it's like winning thousands of little one dollar lottery tickets, when winning depends largely on skill and hard work and lots of little good choices, instead of chance. Only a couple of those lottery tickets are just plain old 'chance'.

But based on a great many research studies I've perused over the last 20 yrs, and the approach to breeding related to performance that one finds in European warmbloods in the major European registries, I think 'genetics' is extremely important and controls more things than most people would like to admit. You very often will hear comments from knowledgeable folks, such as say, Carol Lavel, about very specific performance issues, such as say, the transition from piaffe to passage...comments like 'That horse is sired by ABC, they always have problems with transitions from piaffe to passage. They can piaffe all day, but...that transition...'

To be fair, 'that transition' is about gaits, conformation, temperament...and about landing in a barn like Carol Lavel's where people know how to train that, but except for the last item, these are all things I feel are 'inherited'.

Some of these observations are based on not enough observations of enough offspring, and the mare has something to say about it too, but some of those observations are very worthwhile.

I am not saying that 'environment' is unimportant. I am not saying that 'training', 'environment' are not a factor. I think they are, very much so. I think if they are 'bad', you can take away anything genetics would make possible.

But let us say the training and environment are perfect - fantastic. Everything that is possible will be brought out. With elite horses, there are other issues. Elite horses with a lot of energy and a lot of brains take a great deal of skill to manage properly. I think only a really experienced, skilled person has a chance of bringing everything out that God put in.

In other words, I think it's 'yours to ruin' - if the inherited traits are there, you can develop them to a peak with correct training and management. If that inheritance isn't there, training can still improve a horse, but the top horses are a combination of inheritance, training and luck.

I am not entirely sure 'clones' are going to have the same physical abilities as their ancestors. I'm not sure all the issues are resolved. And because of CNV's and other genetic changes that occur after fertilization and before birth, and are random, I am not entirely sure that clones can ever be identical to their ancestor by the point in time when they are born. They may be fairly similar at the point of fertilization, but I am not so sure about the rest of the time. I think that after fertilization, clones have just as much potential for CNV's and other types of changes we may not even know about yet. That may not change the entire genetic soup that much, or it may. I don't think that's really clear yet.

But if, as most people assume, a clone is 'the same' as its illustrious ancestor, yes, I think that if that horse is in the right hands, the potential is there and could be developed.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 09:02 AM
What's a CNV?

And what about mutating cells?

And a gelding that is cloned is going to arrive as a stallion ... maybe his owners won't geld him and then we get right back to the random breeding factors.

OverandOnward
Sep. 20, 2009, 03:06 PM
Well maybe they will start cloning highly intelligient homo sapiens with ethics who are exceptional horsemen and sophisticated enough to develop an Independent Seat and be able to ride a varity of horses ... that would really turn things upside down.

But wait ... improve human riding skills and you are going to ruin a riding-horse-cloning industry potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars !!! :winkgrin: :D




... Great horses, are, I believe, basically just...lucky. They wind up with a trainer who knows how to train and develop them, they don't get injured, and they stay in a program, and they have someone who knows how to strategically plan a jumper's career.

I don't think it's some one little random event that 'makes' an elite horse. I think it's hundreds and hundreds of events and decisions and just the good fortune that the horse doesn't slip on a banana peel one day coming out of the barn.
...


I completely agree with this. I have long believed that there are more potentially great horses, and potentially great human athletes, than ever come to the surface. Everything has to happen just right to get an able horse to a HOTY or regional ye championship, and most talented, even extremely gifted, horses who have the makings don't actually make it, for hundreds of reasons.

Given that, we don't need cloning to get great horses, better horses, more ride-able horses. We have them now, as potential. We need better involvement from the human species - more knowledge, wiser decisions, and even more resources. Can't train a champion without facilities.

Which kind of goes back to BaroquePony's point quoted at top of this post. Since a long and tired history shows no indication humans in general are going to get any better at making or implementing decisions - Replace random human-ness with cloned "better" humans and the horses can stay as they are, no cloning needed. :yes: ;)

Or in other words, yes-but ... In the end, cloning the best packer on the regional circuit, and putting the clones through the same training regimen and path of experience as the original, is a more certain way to provide successful riding experiences. (Or people will think so, until it is proven otherwise.)

And so then ... why was it we started riding ... and competing ... ???
<<<fuzzily forgetting thinking of new cloned trained packer arriving this week>>>
:winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin:

suzier444
Sep. 20, 2009, 09:33 PM
well...it'd be a whole new kind of interesting challenge to give two different riders the same clone, and then come back in 5 or 10 years and see how the horses turned out based on training. you could do all sorts of experiments with nature vs nurture and breeding vs training.

on the other hand, I'm getting a vision of 100 clones of (famous rider) riding 100 clones of (famous horse). Or 100 Michael Jordans playing basketball against each other. There is kind of an assembly line robot creep factor. I guess I feel like there's some kind of beauty to the idea of every "great" being one-of-a-kind and every animal being its own unique snowflake or whatever.

Shiaway
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:11 PM
You're wrong about what a telomere is. You're thinking of the mitotic spindle.

I just explained this on another cloning thread but here goes (BTW this isn't zoology, it's genetics 101).

Every time your cells replicate they have to of course duplicate all of your chromosomes. But the thing about the replication machinery is it's a bit like a zipper and it needs a leading end to get started. So here's where a telomere comes in to play. At the end of every chromosome you have these trailing repitions of T (remember DNA is made up of A, C, G and T nucleotides?) So at the end of your DNA you get TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT And that is what gives the replication machinery the leading end it needs to hook on and start replication.

But this also means that with every replication you get less T's (remember the machinery can't start at the very end so it can't replicate everything). So say you have TTTTTT at the end of your chromosomes. Well next time maybe you have TTTTT and the next time TTTT and next time TTT etc. and eventually you don't have any T's at all and then you start loosing genetic information that can lead to genes being non-regulated which can cause all sorts of problems like cancer and death.

Now here's where it comes into play with cloning. We really don't know how to clone an animal yet. We can clone genes. We can clone plants (mostly because plants kind of already have this set up in their make up--how you can mow grass and it keeps growing where as you can't chop off someone arm and have it regrow).

So how they do cloning, unless it's changed (and I disagree with the person who said we'll have this all fixed in a few years--if we had the telomere problem fixed in a few years we'd probably have part of the answer to immortality), is they take the nucleus from a somatic cell (any cell that isn't a germ cell) and the implant it into the egg of another cell (the egg's nucleus has been removed). There's several problems with this:

1) this other egg comes from another individual and has its own properties, like mitochandrial DNA, that will get replicated and so will be different than the horse you're trying to clone

2) DNA itself, during development, expresses itself differently and gosh we are no where near figuring out every expression pathway but we've made progress. We still have no idea why which X forms a bar body in females (so you could never clone a calico cat for instance and expect to get the same coat pattern). So expression is going to be different every time

3) Here comes the telomeres--Say you're cloning a 10 year old horse. His cells have already replicated a certain amount of times by then which means, even though his telomeres might be 20 nucleotides long when he was born, by the time he was cloned, maybe they're only 10 nucleotides long. That means the clone will be born with only half the length of telomeres, shortening the clone's life expectancy drastically--don't believe me? Dolly's already dead.

4) Implanting the egg into another mare's womb also influences not only the development of the fetus but also the behavior of the foal which learns quite a lot from his mother during those really important stages. Anyone who's raised an orphan foal knows this.

So really I think the whole thing of cloning animals is sick and disturbing. And I don't think it's profitable at all. People who do the math and thing, oh well we're going to pop out 10 gem twists that means 10 X $100K yea, we'll be rich, are morons who obviously know how to count but know very little about biology. You can't make it work that way. Science should be able learning and asking questions and also about helping us live better lives. It shouldn't be, but of course is, about make a profit like this.

ClassAction
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks Shiaway, that was bugging me too. I was writing a reply but you beat me to it!

mvp
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:36 PM
Thanks for straightening out the technical crap.

The telomere problem is big and important for an otherwise piss-poor plan to get rich though cloning.

If I have understood this correctly, you need some young somatic cells to begin with. That means you don't wait to see if the "star" stays sound until he's 20, or 10, or maybe you clone him when he's 3, just to make sure the biology will work. In that case, how have you assured yourself that he's genetically all that and a bag of chips?

I also agree that nature and nurture really aren't understood, nor is that pesky part of nature called genetic expression.

On the other hand, think about how level the playing field would be in an IHSA competition, or some horse training competition with genetically-identical individuals. No, not each one would have had precisely the same life experiences, but the animals would be closer than anything we have now, making for a really interesting kind of contest. I'd pay money to watch the clone class at a horse show.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 11:18 PM
Shiaway, thanks for posting that on this thread. I was going to clip and paste what you had on the other thread about it, but then I though you might not want your post associated with my screenname. So, then I was gonna ask you to post that on this thread, but I got real busy out in the barn with my new pony. Boy, the thought of a hundred clones of him is absolutley frightening. Just think, someone in the lab could make a mistake. The world could be overrun with spoiled brat welsh cobs. Yikes.

BaroquePony
Sep. 20, 2009, 11:21 PM
I'd pay money to watch the clone class at a horse show.

:lol:

Shiaway
Sep. 21, 2009, 12:19 AM
Next up is Gem Twist 5602...

slc2
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:31 AM
That was a really good post Shiaway. Without understanding the details as well as someone like yourself would, I read some things about cloning and got the same 'someone is going to make a lot of money off this without us really knowing how to do this' feeling.

About CNV's - they are copy number variations. I'm sure someone else can better explain it than I, but the basic thing I got out of it, is that genes continue to change after fertilization. The cells divide in the fertilized egg and how their genetic materials are copied can have mistakes, omissions, flip-flops, and sometimes a misfolded piece of genetic material can affect how a whole section of genes is expressed.

That's why I don't think a cloned individual can be said to be 'identical' to the individual it was cloned from, why 'identical' twins can each be 'discordant' for various traits(there are actually 2 types of identical twins, partial and ah...less partial...), and why someone in a family 'inherits' a mental illness when no one in the family history has ever had that mental illness. Because fertilization is only the start. It might be called the 'starting state'. The cell doesn't stay that way. By some estimates, CNV's are rather common, and they can 'blanket' a whole series of genes too, not just affect one.

The way I got curious about them, is that CNV's are kind of a hot (not so new any more) idea in severe mental illnesses which helps explain a lot of how puzzling genetic research for the severe mental illnesses has been. One study conclusion said that CNV's could raise the genetic factor of severe mental illnesses to 90%, and that with what's known about CNV's now, we can currently put the genetic factor for severe mental illnesses at...75% or so. It also said they will be able to boost that to 90% or higher, within a few years.

Too, genes aren't exactly like lights that just turn on when we are conceived and stay on unvaryingly our whole lives...again someone far better can explain this better, but the way I understand it, genes turn on and off over time and are 'expressed' or 'not expressed' during different growth periods and life periods - I learned from studying Rett's Syndrome. They found the 'gene for Rett's, and then things really got weird. People had the gene without having Rett's. BOYS had the gene (boys don't tend to get Rett's). People with very mild illness had the gene...it got very confusing. But it appears there are a lot of complexities to genes that are just now being hinted at. like CNV's.

ClassAction
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:14 AM
I'm going to bring another layer of "ick" into the mix and mention epigenetics. In a nutshell, epigenetics is the adding and subtracting of methyl groups onto DNA to control what is or is not expressed. You can have an identical DNA sequence but what is expressed at the mRNA and then the protein level could be different depending on your methylation pattern.

Methylation can be changed by environmental factors as well. I could clone myself but my clone could express the same genes differently due to what methyl groups are inhibiting transcription!

JWB
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:19 AM
I think cloning will be a bigger factor in jumpers than in dressage horses. The fact is, jumping is a very heritable trait. Breed two fantastic jumpers, and odds are you're going to get a fantastic jumper. Yes, it takes a skilled rider to bring them to their full potential but there are a number of stallions out there that are known to pass on the jump VERY reliably.

Movement is not as simple as that. You can breed fantastic mover A to fantastic mover B and get a horse that just doesn't add up over and over again. It's not as straight a genetic thing as jumping ability. People can try to provide the best possible parents and drastically IMPROVE the odds of getting a good mover but it just does not happen as often as people will be able to predict getting a good jumper! It will be interesting to see what happens with the clones - to see if a clone has the same movement of the original. It may answer a lot of questions about heritabilaty of movement.

Also, the term dressage... It refers to the schooling/training of the horse. I've seen some lovely movers trotting around in the pasture with horrid manners under saddle. Buying a clone won't automatically give you your own upper level horse... There is still a LOT of work that is going to have to be done the RIGHT way for the horse to reach it's full potential.

Talent happens now - through traditional breeding but they don't all become greats. The greats are the ones that are recognized, nurtured and campaigned by the RIGHT trainer/riders.

JB
Sep. 21, 2009, 08:14 AM
A part of me would love to see some of the old genes brought back into the horse world, since as we've moved forward, we haven't always moved in the right direction. But a part of me acknowledges those genes are in the past and it's not right to mess with it.
But aren't we already messing with it? We don't give mares the option of choosing or refusing her mate. Some folks feel if a mare won't tease for the stallion, those 2 should not be bred. Same with whomever mentioned tranq'ing female dogs so they will accept the male - we're messing with it.

There are numerous threads every year of folks bemoaning the loss of some great, old bloodlines because of whatever reason - stallion died too young, some stupid color preference bred him out, he didn't start breeding until late in life and his offspring were really late bloomers, a great horse was gelded (ie Gem Twist).

I'm not saying we SHOULD mess with some of this, but I think as long as it's correctly done, it's really not any different from how we mess with it currently :)


I think clones should be registered as clones. The orignally breeding can be included on the papers.
Meeeee too. I think that is the plan, at least for certain registries, already.


On the cloning of QHs .. now there's a breed that I feel was really ruined through trendy breeding and AI, but mostly the trendy breeding ... overmuscled, butt-high with tiny feet prone to navicular. The old QH looked more like a cavalry remount - no comparison to what we have today.
Highly depends on which sector of the QH you're talking about. Halter? You bet - Frankenstein's creations, the majority of them :no: The HUS horses are not like that - far from it. Reiners and cutters certainly aren't like that. And the often-forgotten ranch horses are most definitely like that.


Talent isn't just genetic... It can also be life experiences and maybe even injuries when young...

What I mean is, what if, Gem Twist was a great jumper because he was chased by a pasture mate as a weanling and jumped out of his pasture,

Actually Gem Twist, might be a great example, this new clone isn't being gelded, so right from the start, he ISN'T a duplicate of the Grand Prix jumper. He might not be comfortable jumping intact so he won't EXCEL at jumping.
I entirely agree that just because you've cloned a horse there is no guarantee of the end performance result. So much of a horse is shaped by his environment. However, in the case of GT, he's in the hands of Frank Chapot, so if anyone could give Gemini Twist the chance of becoming another great show jumper, it's him. Clones right now at least aren't ending up in the hands of mere amateurs.

But, not all clones are being bred for performance either. Cloning purely as a breeding animal is also going on, and in that case it matters not one nano-iota whether that horse could jump a stick- it's the DNA that's they're after, which is the same.


I absolutley can't wait to go to a show where everyone shows up on the same horse :eek:
But they aren't going to necessarily look the same ;) And if they've all been in the hands of ammys, then 90% of the performance will be up to that ammy :)


I think cloning will be a bigger factor in jumpers than in dressage horses. The fact is, jumping is a very heritable trait. Breed two fantastic jumpers, and odds are you're going to get a fantastic jumper. Yes, it takes a skilled rider to bring them to their full potential but there are a number of stallions out there that are known to pass on the jump VERY reliably.

Movement is not as simple as that. You can breed fantastic mover A to fantastic mover B and get a horse that just doesn't add up over and over again. It's not as straight a genetic thing as jumping ability.
But you've cloned the DNA - it IS the same horse. It's not an offspring where heritability has come into play. Poetin's clone, barring some mental issue or some physical problem, will move like Poetin. Whether the expression will be the same will be shaped in part by her environment and training, but the inherent movement is still the same - all her body parts are put together *exactly* like the original Poetin's.



It will be interesting to see what happens with the clones - to see if a clone has the same movement of the original. It may answer a lot of questions about heritabilaty of movement.
Except we're not doing "heritability" in cloning.


Also, the term dressage... It refers to the schooling/training of the horse. I've seen some lovely movers trotting around in the pasture with horrid manners under saddle. Buying a clone won't automatically give you your own upper level horse... There is still a LOT of work that is going to have to be done the RIGHT way for the horse to reach it's full potential.

Talent happens now - through traditional breeding but they don't all become greats. The greats are the ones that are recognized, nurtured and campaigned by the RIGHT trainer/riders.
Agreed :) And at least for now, these clones are in the hands of the right trainers and riders :)