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Cloned goat becomes great-grandmother
Updated: 2004-02-08 17:05

Yangyang, a female goat cloned from the somatic cells of an adult goat by Chinese scientists in 2000, has become the happy great-grandmother of a female kid.

The kid was born at 3:50 a.m. Friday, slightly premature, at the sheep-breeding base of the northwest China Science and Technology University for Agriculture and Forestry in this capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Zhang Yong, an expert on animal embryo engineering who cloned Yangyang, named the new arrival "Xiaoxiao," which means "Smiles."

"Her birth shows that goats cloned from somatic cells and embryos can cross-fertilize and reproduce in the same way as ordinary goats," said the professor.

Xiaoxiao weighed 2.2 kg, and was 40 cm long, 24 cm tall at birth. She is white all over and has long ears like her father, a Boer goat. Shortly after she was born, Xiaoxiao was able to stand up and walk, said scientists at the base.

The scientists said Xiaoxiao has been fed with other goats' milk, because her own mother, one-year-old Tiantian, does not have enough herself.

Tiantian was born on Feb. 26, 2003 and became pregnant in October the same year.

Yangyang was the second goat cloned from somatic cells at the base. The first, also a female, died from respiratory failure stemming from undeveloped lungs 36 hours after she was born.

Yangyang's daughter Qingqing was born at the same base, in August 2001.

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