Scientists at the University of Idaho and Utah State University announced today that they had succeeded in cloning a mule. The clone is named "Idaho Gem." Gordon Woods, one of the chief scientists on the project was my next door neighbor when I taught at the University of Idaho.
As with each new species cloned, Idaho Gem opens another door in the understanding of animal systems. Woods, who calls the mule "a 1,000-pound mouse that kicks," says the cloning may also help in the study of cancer. Key differences between horse and human cells may account for why horses have radically lower cancer rates.