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Calf-cell cloning called cutting-edge
( 2003-12-10 23:39) (China Daily)

Research into cloning of somatic cells in cattle is of great importance to promoting embryo technology development, experts say.

More than 10 experts from China's top agricultural universities supported research in the field lead by Laiyang Agricultural College.

A testing group led by Lu Kehuan, vice-president of Guangxi University, drew the conclusion yesterday in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong Province.

Dong Yajuan and Bai Xuejin of the Laiyang College have been leading cutting-edge research into cattle cloning.

On October 8 a somatic cell-cloned calf named "Beibei" was born in the Animal Embryo Engineering Centre of Laiyang Agricultural College.

Beibei was cloned using epidermal cells taken from a frozen bovine fetus. Researchers used ovulation embryo transfer technologies as well as a process known as "vaporification" to produce Beibei.

The centre also succeeded in cloning calves in November 2001, they were named "Kangkang" and "Shuang-shuang."

On October 29 and 31 Kangkang and Shuangshuang gave birth to a female calf named Jian Jian, proving that cloned cattle can have normal reproductive functions.

"It is a big step forward in China's research into reproduction of somatic cell cloning," said Lu, also head of the Centre of Animal Embryo Engineering of Guangxi University.

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