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Clones ~ what's the deal there? I don't get it.

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  • #21
    Well, I had a giant poster of Gem Twist autographed by Greg Best on my wall as a girl, so while I'm not technically a geneticist, I'm obviously some kind of authority here ...

    Originally posted by jawa View Post
    Is it true, that there are certain genes that are only expressed when exposed to a particular set of circumstances?
    Yes.

    So the son of Gem Twist could have the SAME genotype, but due to the differences in pregnancies, you could have different phenotypes?[/QUOTE]

    Yes.

    And certainly early training or just clicking with a certain person can change a horse.[/QUOTE]

    Yes.

    But in every situation above, the horse is still the same genotype. It's like saying "Am I still the mother (or father) of my child now that I have a sun tan?"

    A different phenotype is not the same as a different genotype. That's the whole point. I may have a genetic propensity to tan and suffer schizophrenia and my twin would be the same. But if I drop acid a lot and go to Burning Man, I will probably get a tan and schizophrenia. She may not ever express either trait. Our genotypes are still the same.

    Heritance is really a third concept, but I think the question is, "Can there be changes to the genotype and how does that impact clones as sires?"

    A clone is at least as genetically similar to the original as an identical twin, if not more so. (Right? Help me out scientists) In any case, from a heritance standpoint, the same. You are not exactly the same from year to year, things change, even in what you will pass on. But you are still always the father or mother of your children. Any difference is extremely minute and not well understood. Demonstrating performance actually demonstrates nothing to a breeder in this circumstance. Gemini will not be a better sire by learning to jump. His propensity to jump is exactly the same as Gem Twist's and however much of that was a result of Gem Twist's particular environment is irrelevant from a breeding perspective. There is no way to control Gemini's environment to make it like Gem Twists. For one thing, no matter what the kids wear the 80s are never coming back.

    Or: you can only breed for the things you can breed for

    BTW this is already years underway, with performance results, in the world of mule racing
    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-205_162-1680235.html
    An auto-save saved my post.

    I might be a cylon

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Coanteen View Post
      Interesting. I heard the program, and it sounds like this one (2nd Chance) was a pet from the time he was born. The original, the owner got at age 7, and noticed the docility then.

      Quite likely the bull had a docile enough temperament that could be passed on, but the close had a radically different, spoiled upbringing.
      That's an interesting perspective. I recall thinking - because I work w/ kids and parents (& b/c they treated that bull like a child) how if a parent cloned a beloved child; they couldn't possibly parent it the same way -- and contemplating the myriad of ways having unusually high & specific expectations and preconceptions would negatively impact parent-child interactions. And, I think of my beloved first dog; and how weird it would be to look at an exact replica of him that wasn't him. I guess I am more fascinated by the psychology & dynamics of the humans interacting w/ the cloned animals. It's interesting stuff.
      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

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      • #23
        Originally posted by HillnDale View Post
        For one thing, no matter what the kids wear the 80s are never coming back.
        And we can all be thankful for that!
        "Friend" me !

        http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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        • #24
          One word....epigenetics.

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          • #25
            Someone in the Paso Fino world cloned our most famous stallion - Capuchino - a horse with over 5,000 registered offspring. I'm so glad the registry put their foot down to registering this horse because it is almost impossible to find a Paso without his name on the papers. The owner was going to breed him - causing more problems with an already limited gene pool. I would have been fine with the clone had its purpose not been to breed an already over used bloodline - and his sire was famous as well so, between the two of them, the Resorte line is everywhere.
            Capuchino had his time and his legacy lives on in thousands and thousands of Pasos - like mine. It's certainly not as if he was a gelding whose genetics were lost.
            You are what you dare.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by jawa View Post
              Is it true, that there are certain genes that are only expressed when exposed to a particular set of circumstances?

              So the son of Gem Twist could have the SAME genotype, but due to the differences in pregnancies, you could have different phenotypes?

              And certainly early training or just clicking with a certain person can change a horse.
              Everything and the kitchen sink changes gene expression, it's a pretty hot study topic right now. Social stress, diet, illness, medication, exercise, different environments (I was part of a study to see how hyperbaric stress changes it) - seriously, gene expression changes during an individual's lifetime due to various influences. Obviously not the kind of "fixed" expression like what your hair color is, but there are constant changes anyway.

              So if you want something that's identical down to the DNA methylation pattern, well: you are not identical to the you from a week ago, most likely.
              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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              • #27
                Thanks to the OP for starting this discussion. It has made for very interesting reading. I guess I am the only horse person on the planet who didn't realize there were clones of GT. I was such a fan growing up!

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                • #28
                  For reproductive goals, if you are a breeder and are after a certain line the original is not here any more, a clone will give you that exact line genes with a clone.

                  Sure, so much else will keep changing what those genes give you, but it is the closest you get to working with that combination of genes.

                  There are different ways to clone, one lately is with skin cells, as in some famous world champion cutting mare, that was cloned two years after her death.

                  Remember, in science, everyone learns from doing what you try to do, one reason some, like cloning, is so interesting.
                  You never know where more knowledge will lead.

                  Now, when applying that knowledge to the real world, then the questions like registering those clones become more involved, as the lawsuit against the AQHA will bring and probably set a precedent saying a cloned individual is as much one of the breed as the one cloned from.
                  The science there is irrefutable.

                  Their problem, the membership keeps voting against registering clones.
                  The by-laws prohibits anyone from integrating clones without the necessary votes.
                  So, they can't accept clones without the votes, but in a lawsuit they will be mandated to do so if they lose that lawsuit, as they already did other similar ones.

                  I wonder if the AQHA may form a second appendix registry for clones to get around that.

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