Veterinary researcher who cloned mule dies - The Connecticut Post...

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Veterinary researcher who cloned mule dies
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Pet News By KEITH RIDLER Associated Press Writer
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Updated: 08/23/2009 06:52:18 PM EDT
Top News Headlines (AP)
BOISE, Idaho—Gordon Woods, a veterinary scientist who helped create Idaho Gem, the world's first cloned mule, has died.
He was 57.
Sports Woods passed away unexpectedly Thursday, said Dell Rae Moellenberg, a spokeswoman at Colorado State University in Fort
Collins, Colo., where Woods was a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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High School Sports Woods died at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. Moellenberg said the family has asked for confi dentiality,
and she declined to provide additional details.
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High School Basketball "He was a brilliant scientist," said Dirk Vanderwall, who worked with Woods on the mule-cloning project at the Uni versity of
Idaho, and who is now an associate professor and chief of the Section of Reproduction at the School of Veterinary Medicine at
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the University of Pennsylvania. "Over the last 30 years he's conducted groundbreaking research in several differen t areas."
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Bridgeport Sound Tigers In 2003, Woods, Vanderwall and Ken White of Utah State University led a team that cloned Idaho Gem as part of a la rger
project intended to better understand human diseases.
Sports Columnists The University of Idaho "beat a number of other teams around the world trying to clone a member of the horse famil y," said Bill
Loftus, a spokesman at UI. "I'm personally devastated by the loss and I know many of his friends are. He had a lot more to
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Accent The mule clone, one of three produced at the university, went on to success on the mule racing circuit in Nevada a nd
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"It certainly made interesting headlines in both the scientific
and popular press," Vanderwall said.
But Woods was looking for more than just race results from
the clones. Horses and other equines have significantly lower
cancer rates than humans, and scientists hope cloning will
illuminate the difference and provide research clues,
particularly into calcium's role in diseases. Equines have
much less calcium within cell walls than humans.
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"That certainly was another primary focus of Gordon's,"
Vanderwall told The Associated Press on Sunday. "To use
the horse as a model to try to understand age-onset diseases
in people. Gordon's hypothesis was that excessive
intracellular calcium in human cells could be an underlying
factor in age-onset diseases."
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Woods had been continuing his research in that area.
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"Gordon was so novel in his thinking along those lines,"
Vanderwall said. "It was his drive and passion that was really
In The Clubs moving that forward. It's just a devastating loss."
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According to a biography supplied by the University of Idaho, Woods grew up in northern Idaho and received an unde rgraduate
Movie Review degree from the University of Idaho and his doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Colorado State University. He later
Music Review received another doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin.
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In 1986 he returned to Idaho and founded the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory, then joined the University of Idaho
PreView Cover story in 1988 as a professor in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Science. He left the school in 2007 to work at C olorado
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Theatre Review Vanderwall said Woods had a dry sense of humor and loved hiking with his family.
Vanderwall said Woods is survived by his wife and four adult children.
Zahn Building Business The Lewiston Tribune reported that a funeral for Woods is planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Chr ist of
Latter-day Saints Stake Center in Moscow.
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8/25/2009 9:53 AM