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First Cloned Pig in Japan Euthanised

by 5m Editor
23 April 2010, at 7:26am

JAPAN - The first pig cloned from fetal pigskin cells in Japan has been euthanised after becoming unable to stand on her own because of natural causes, researchers said yesterday.

JapanToday reports that the pig, Xena, who was nine years and eight months at the time of her death, was the oldest cloned pig in the world. She was born on 2 July 2000, as the world’s second cloned pig after the first one created in Britain, according to the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences.

Akira Onishi, a researcher at the institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and his colleagues created Xena by directly injecting genetic material into an egg stripped of its own genome and transplanting the egg into a surrogate mother.
"The average length of life for biologically born pigs is 10 to 15 years, and I think the fact that Xena grew and existed without a problem for about 10 years and that she had a reproductive capacity show cloned animals do not necessarily die young," Mr Onishi said.