Southwest Chinese Journal (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 5, Ed. 1 Monday, May 1, 1978 Page: 16 of 20
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ifj li j f-R Southwest Chinese Journal
Dr. T.C. Hsu Heads M.D. Anderson Lab Where Animal
Cells Stored for Cloning
Houston Chronicle (UPI)
The makings of a 300-animal clone zoo are stored in
tiny vials at subfreezing temperatures in an M.D. Anderson
Hospital and Tumor Institute laboratory.
"Cloning is still science fiction, but that's part
of the possibility maybe 200 or 1,000 years from now,"
said Dr. T.C. Hsu, chief of cell biology at Anderson.
"Right now what we do is keep them for our use and
for the scientific community. Whoever wants to use a
special kind of cells, we have them, cells from aardvark
The cells are kept at minus 190 degrees Centigrade
in two nitrogen freezers.
Hsu said most requests for test cells are directed
to a commercial eel1-marketing laboratory in Maryland,
but he said he receives a few from biologists or geneti-
cists interested in particular animals.
"They don't collect a lot of weird animals like we
do. They have a limited number of kinds but they have
large numbers of each kind. Ours, some of them, are one
of a kind,like, say, the white rhinocerous.
"We have a lot of cats, cheetahs, tigers, this sort
of thing. We have some exotic bats. Some are endangered.
Hsu said a cell sample can be taken from an animal,
often the skin, and the cells are cultured and grown until
a 20 million or 30 million cell sample can be placed in a
The vial is cooled at the rate of one degree per
minute until its temperature reaches about minus 60 de-
grees Centigrade. Then it is place in liquid nitrogen at
minus 190 degrees and kept there.
"You have to use slow freezing. If you use quick
freezing, the cells arc ruptured and killed. We use slow
freezing and quick thaw. If you thaw them :> lowly, the
eel Is arc dead , too."
He said when a cell sample is needed, a vial is
thawed quickly by swishing the sealed container in water
at 37 degrees Centigrade.
"We thaw them and the cells come alive," Hsu said.
"They'll grow if given proper medium and environment.
And they'll keep growing."
The cells can be kept almost indefinitely. Hsu s
laboratory has been collecting specimens intermittently
for about 15 years. It started as a search for parti-
cular cell qualities and grew from there.
His primary business is cancer research and he has
been saving the animal cells on the side, not searching
actively for more samples but accepting them when offered.
The San Diego, Calif., zoo has started a similar project.
Hsu emphasized that despite recent publicity to the
contrary, cloning the creation of an entire higher being
from a single cell—is a research concept that is far in
Some lower animals noturaJly reproduce by cloning.
But, in higher orders, controlling a particular cell's
genetic assignment involves a yet unsolved scientific
mys "tcry •
"You have to let them (cells) go back to de-dif- ^
ferentiation and become embryonic before you can do that,
Hsu said. "Studies on the problem are very active. If
you could de-differentiate, then you might be able to do
"Hopefully, when biological science is developed
.11 in the future, we can revive individual cells
clone them and make an animal out of them. So I leave
this for posterity."
Citizenship Classes Sponsored by
the CACA Houston Lodge
As a community service, the Chinese American Citizen's
Alliance in conjuction with the Department of Immi-
gration and Naturalization is offering citizenship
classes to those who desire to become American citizens.
The complete course will be taught in twelve (12)
two-hour sessions on Sundays, beginning June 4, 1978
through August 20, 1978. The classes will be held at
the World Trade Building (Conference room) 1520 Texas
Avenue. Time: 3 to 5 P.M. each Sunday.
To sign up or for more information, call GENE Y. WOO,
Telephone 721-3818. Classes will be taught in Cantonese
and English - free of charge and open to all persons in
the Chinese Community.
^ iifo Henry Lee 1
New Century Travel Service
Foreign & Domestic Travel Planning
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PHONE (7131 2V 8060 6*59 r'ANNIN ST (.OBBV .HOUSTON TEXAS 77002
LEE PRINTING I STATIONERY CO.
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Southwest Chinese Journal (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 5, Ed. 1 Monday, May 1, 1978, newspaper, May 1, 1978; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273747/m1/16/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.