Animals, Science

From the Annals of the “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” Department

“The road to Hell” as they say, “is paved with good intentions.”

And so it is.

A group of Hungarian scientists, faced with what’s clearly a first-world problem–saving from extinction the fish responsible for producing the world’s finest caviar–decided to tinker with the piscine gene pool, taking sperm from the American Paddlefish and using it to induce asexual reproduction in the Russian sturgeon.  (Note to self:  go back and read dictionary definition of “asexual reproduction,” because I’m not quite seeing how this is it.)

Anyhoo, the paddlefish sperm apparently didn’t get the memo, which stated that it was not to transfer DNA into the sturgeon (the scientists thought they had this part of it covered and under control, because they believed that the fish were too dissimilar to hybridize).  But once the timid Miss Sturgeon met Mr. Paddlefish’s vigorous sperm, nature took its course, amor vincited omnia (yes, I know that’s not quite right), DNA was indeed transferred, and that was that.  The result was a brand-new species never before seen on earth and occurring nowhere in nature, and a passel of little sturddlefish babies.

As to the mechanics of exactly what happened, Jenő Káldy, the lead author of the study, which is written up in the scientific journal Genes, says “the how and why are still open questions.”

Good to know they’re on top of it.  And that there’s no danger of the sturddlefish escaping, because they’re at a research facility “where there’s no chance they’ll invade natural waters.”

Gosh, I think I’ve heard something like that before about something else securely housed in a research facility with no possible chance of escaping. LOL.

Glory Be.

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