Three cloned mules healthy, researchers say
Three young mules who are the first members of the horse family to be cloned are all healthy, normal and energetically enjoying life, say researchers who put them on display Sunday in Seattle.
Idaho Gem, born May 4, 2003, was the first successful cloning of an equine. He was followed by siblings Utah Pioneer on June 9 and Idaho Star on July 27. The clonings were a project of the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.
All three were born to surrogate mares from embryos that were cloned using eggs from horses and cells taken from a the 45-day-old fetus of a mules. The cloned mules are the true siblings of Taz, a famous racing mule.
"We have not seen anything out of the ordinary with these animals," laboratory director Gordon Woods said at a presentation at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Gasoline prices climb
Retail gasoline prices continue to climb at the nation's pumps, rising more than 17 cents a gallon since late December, according to a study released Sunday.
Gas prices for all grades rose 3.61 cents in the past weeks to a national average of $1.68 per gallon, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations.
The price of retail diesel fuel also was up 3 cents, reaching a national average of $1.69 per gallon.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said several factors were responsible for the increase, including the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision to cut oil production by 1 million barrels a day beginning April 1.