This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Search BBC
BBC World Service
BBC BBC News BBC Sport BBC Weather BBC World Service Worldservice languages
 
spacer gif
You are in: Home page > News English > Words in the News
Learning English
spacer gif
  Words in the News
INTRO 
  Chinese scientists said they’ve produced a cloned embryo of a giant panda. Toby Murcott of BBC Science reported.
IN FULL 
  Audio Listen to the report in full
giant panda

24th June 1999

Cloning the panda

NEWS 1   The giant panda is unique to China and with only about a thousand left in the wild and a hundred in zoos, the country wants to try and clone the endangered breed within three to five years. Today’s announcement – that a cloned embryo of a giant panda has been created – is the first step towards this goal. According to the offical Chinese news agency, scientists at the the Chinese Academy of Sciences extracted genetic material from the cells of a dead panda and inserted it into the egg of a white rabbit. The researchers say it developed into a panda embryo and they’re now hoping to implant the embryo into the womb of a host animal in the hope that it might develop into a cloned giant panda.
WORDS 
 

unique to: this means that the giant panda is only found in China

clone: an animal or plant that is produced artifically from the cells of another animal or plant. Used also as a verb - to clone

endangered: commonly used to describe animals or plants that are getting increasingly rare and are in danger of disappearing from the planet

breed: a particular type of animal: a subgroup within a species

genetic material: general term for things like genes and the DNA found in genes

embryo: an animal or human in the very early stages of development in the womb

NEWS 2  

This, however, is unlikely at the first attempt. Cloning is still a hit and miss procedure - the scientists who created Dolly the Sheep tried nearly 300 times before Dolly was born. And nobody knows whether genetic material from a panda injected into a rabbit egg would grow into a normal animal. Nevertheless, if Chinese scientists are to achieve their dream of creating the world’s first clone of a giant panda, this is a crucial first step.

WORDS   

hit and miss: means that there is an element of luck involved and that is it often difficult to predict the results

Dolly the Sheep: a sheep cloned by scientists in Scotland

injected: using a syringe to get a liquid or substance deep into something

    Read about the background in BBC News Online

BBC copyright
 
Learning English | News English | Business English | Watch and Listen
 
Grammar and Vocabulary | Communicate | Quizzes | For teachers
 
Downloads | FAQ | Contact us