Meet Garlic, China’s First Cloned Kitten

Servet TURAN/iStock via Getty Images
Servet TURAN/iStock via Getty Images

Just hours after burying his dearly departed cat, Garlic, in a nearby park, 22-year-old Chinese businessman Huang Yu had a change of heart. He dug him right back up and relocated him to the refrigerator.

Then, The New York Times reports, Huang forked over about $35,000 to a Beijing pet-cloning company called Sinogene, hoping it could bring back his beloved British shorthair, gone too soon from a urinary tract disease. Seven months later, Sinogene debuted China’s first official cat clone (also named Garlic).

As The Scientist explains, Sinogene created 40 clone embryos using Garlic’s skin cells and other cats’ eggs, and then injected those embryos into four host cats. Though three of the cats did get pregnant, two miscarried. The last, luckiest cat surrogate gave birth to Garlic 66 days after insemination.

Sinogene began cloning dogs in 2015 after a survey indicated a healthy demand, and it has since cloned more than 40 dogs, each for about $53,000. The decision to undertake its first cat case was also based on market research that demonstrated cats’ rising popularity in China. Mi Jidong, Sinogene's chief executive, told The New York Times that the company's aspirations don’t stop at house pets; his scientists are currently working on cloning a horse, and pandas and endangered tigers are on the company's long-term to-do list.

China’s lack of nationwide laws against animal cruelty gives Sinogene scientists free reign to experiment with animals in whatever ways they’d like. Critics have long argued that animal cloning is inhumane for both the surrogates and the clones themselves.

Jessica Pierce, a University of Colorado Denver bioethicist, told The New York Times that a cloned pet “has no intrinsic value” and is “used as an object, as a means to somebody’s end.” And cloning is still new enough that we don’t know if the cloned animals will experience adverse effects in their lifetimes—or in the case of wild cloned animals, damage to the species' gene pools.

Other critics take issue with the steep prices for pet clones, suggesting that the money could better aid existing animals.

Though Huang told The New York Times that having Garlic returned to him would have been worth even more than $35,000, he had a different problem with his reincarnated kitten: It didn’t look exactly like the original Garlic, who had a small patch of black fur beneath his mouth that the clone doesn’t have.

“If I tell you I wasn’t disappointed, then I would be lying to you,” he admitted to The Times. “But I’m also willing to accept that there are certain situations in which there are limitations to the technology.”

[h/t The Scientist]

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

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Researchers Just Unearthed ‘Lost’ Footage of the Extinct Tasmanian Tiger—Watch It Here

A Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, in captivity circa 1930.
A Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, in captivity circa 1930.
Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For 85 years, the last known footage of the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger sat forgotten in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), until it was recently unearthed by researchers from a Facebook group called the Tasmanian Tiger Archive.

The NFSA’s newly digitized 21-second clip is part of a nine-minute travelogue called Tasmania the Wonderland from 1935, presumed to be the work of Brisbane filmmaker Sydney Cook (though the film is missing its credits, so that remains unconfirmed). It shows a striped, dog-like creature named Benjamin—the last of his kind ever in captivity—pacing his cage at Tasmania’s Beaumaris Zoo, which shut down in 1937.

Tasmanian tigers aren’t actually tigers—they’re carnivorous marsupials called thylacines. TreeHugger reports that the species died out in mainland Australia about 2000 years ago, but they managed to survive in Tasmania until the 20th century. Though thylacines were officially declared extinct after Benjamin died from suspected neglect in September 1936, the status has been highly contested to this day.

“Do I think the animal is extinct?” Neil Waters of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia told HowStuffWorks. “No, because I have seen two and been coughed/barked at by one in South Australia in 2018. There have been more than 7000 documented sightings of thylacines (or animals that appear to be thylacines), with the majority of those sightings on mainland Australia.”

Considering that fewer than a dozen known clips—a total of just over three minutes—of film footage showing thylacines exist today, Benjamin’s 21 seconds of fame in Tasmania the Wonderland is a monumental rediscovery. And, since thylacines were exhibited in zoos in Washington, New York, Sydney, Berlin, and other cities after the advent of film, the NFSA is optimistic that more footage could turn up in time.

[h/t TreeHugger]