A floppy-eared calf was shown off Thursday as the laboratory product of the oldest animal ever cloned, a 21-year-old Brahman bull named Chance.
Scientists at Texas A&M University said the creation of the baby bull, named Second Chance, may indicate that cloning can be done with tissue of any age.
"What is the limit?" asked researcher Mark Westhusin. "Do they (cells) reach a certain age where you can't clone them anymore or does it ever happen?"
He said more work would be required to answer the question, but the cloning of Chance was a good start -- he was chronologically equivalent to an 88-year-old human when he died earlier this year at 21.
The Texas A&M team will be watching Second Chance closely for signs of premature aging after scientists recently reported that Dolly, the first cloned sheep, had some characteristics of the older cells used to generate her.