The DNA of four-legged duck has been studied

Stumpy, the duck with four legs has been studied its DNA by scientists. With the hope that tests on it could unveil secrets about genetic mutations in humans. Scientists from the University of Chicago are studying blood taken from the two and half year old duck.

The duck was born at the Warrawee Duck Farm, in the New Forest, Hampshire, in 2007 with four legs, with the extra two tucked behind the two he walks on.

Stumpy's owner Nicky Janaway, 45, said: "When Stumpy was first born I got an email from Paul Wakenight at the University of Chicago. He said they were keen to get a small tissue sample from Stumpy to help with their studies into genetic mutations in humans.

"Recently all our ducks were tested for bird flu and so I arranged for a blood sample to be taken during the flu testing. I contacted Paul to tell him and he was delighted. Apparently they are at a vital stage in their testing and are almost at the breakthrough stage.

"The blood sample was sent out by courier the next day and within a year the scientists expect to publish the findings of their study.

Scientists want to know why Stumpy's mutation occurred but more importantly. Paul Wakenight said: "The real value of Stumpy's DNA is that it will help us understand the fundamentals of development. Finding the genes that cause this mutation may be a big clue."

Stumpy lost one of his extra legs in 2007 when he caught it on a fence and the drake became a regular two-legged duck when his third leg also fell off in April last year. Cherry Valley ducks typically live for around ten years.

Via: , 27 August 2009

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