Scientists have used frozen skin samples from a Spanish ibex to create the first clone of an extinct species, reports the Telegraph. The ibex, a wild mountain goat native to the Pyrenees, died out in 2000. Scientists were able to extract DNA from preserved cells and implant it in the egg of a domestic goat, using a technique known as nuclear transfer.
While the newborn kid died shortly after birth of lung defects, a common problem in cloned animals, scientists hope the breakthrough will be used to save other endangered or recently extinct species from their fate. Several projects are already underway to collect DNA from disappearing breeds like the pygmy hippo.