Cloning May Remove Guesswork From Breeding

CHICAGO - Cloned animals are exact genetic copies of the donor animals – they are not genetically modified.“Clones are identical twins separated by time,“ stated Mark Walton, president of ViaGen, Inc., at last week’s BIO 2006 convention.
calendar icon 24 April 2006
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BIO 2006 was the 14th annual international convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. With the theme, “Brilliant science, smart business, better living, it’s all here,” the event drew a record attendance of over 19,000 people from 62 countries. The birth of the sheep, Dolly in 1996 represents the beginning of cloning for many people. “One of the myths that surrounds cloning is that animals die prematurely,” Walton stated. “But here are a group of cloned sheep that were born about the same time as Dolly and they are reaching about nine years old.”

Researchers have actually been working on cloning techniques long before the birth of Dolly. “In fact, 10 years prior to that the first sheep was born from embryonic cell nuclear transfer,” the speaker said. “In 1983, the first mammal was cloned using embryonic cells, 30 years before that, frogs were cloned and in 1928 the first nuclear transfers were done.”

Walton identified several benefits of cloning. “Cloning removes the guesswork from breeding – you can select animals for their performance,” he stated. “It also can accelerate the dissemination of genetics.”

Not only can cloning accelerate the dissemination, it allows the use of the very best genetics. “As a result we can improve the quality and consistency and we have the opportunity to reduce the environmental foot print,” Walton stated.

Source: Agri News

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