In taking a chance on an aging bull named Chance, veterinarians at Texas A&M University say they've achieved a cloning milestone, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.
Ralph Fisher never thought he'd get another Chance. "We knew he was old, and that he was dying," the bull's owner explains. "And we just thought he was gone forever."
A mild mannered screen star, Ralph and Sandra Fisher built a life and a portrait-taking business with Chance until he died three months ago. But, now there's Second Chance. (What else would you call a clone of a 21-year-old Brahman bull named Chance?)
|The little bull takes a closer look.|
Not ready to say goodbye to Chance, the Fishers called on the team of veterinarians to inject some of the steers' skin cells into a donor egg stripped of its DNA. According to Texas A&M's Mark Westhusin, "He's the first because he's probably the oldest donor that has ever been produced. We think he's also the only adult male that has ever been cloned."
The odds on this "game of chance" were 189 to 1 -- 189 different cells were injected into 189 different eggs before the process took and the embryo developed to term.
"I guess he's been reincarnated," Ralph says. "But we hope he'll do exactly what he did the first time. Be a good pet, a business associate."
He calls the strange reunion "cutting-edge, tear-jerkin', good Texas stuff." And for now, he and Sandra are thanking God, thanking science, and not asking too many questions.