China: We will start to mass-manufacture cloned animals soon

What’s next on the list to be ‘Made in China’?

Chinese scientists say that they have successfully created the world’s first cloned transgenic sheep using an improved process of what is called “handmade cloning”, paving the way for large scale industrial production of cloned animals. The cloned sheep, named “Peng Peng,” was born in late March by a cloning process that is more simplified and lower cost than regular cloning, UPI reported.

Animal cloning is not something new, in 1958, John Gurdon, from Oxford University successfully cloned a frog. In 1963, China produced the first cloned fish. By 1986, the USSR has cloned the first mammal, a mouse. It was not until 1997 when British scientists successfully cloned the first big-sized mammal, named Dolly the Sheep.

In 2004, the first commercial animal cloning was realized. Julie, a north Texas woman, lost her 17-year-old Maine Coon cat named Nicky when it died in 2003. Upset by this, she paid $50,000 to have Nicky cloned, and now claimed that the clone, named Little Nicky, exhibits similar behavior to that of her late cat Nicky, including an unusual liking for water. The cat showed no negative side effects from the cloning and is still alive and healthy.

There has been several obstacles in animal cloning so far though; this include the general inefficiency of cloning, where only a small fraction of the reconstructed embryos develop to healthy offspring, the sophistication of cloning equipments, and the exorbitant costs associated with it, not to mention the length of production process.

Large scale factory production of cloned animals soon in China?

Dolly the sheep was created using expensive and time-consuming cell surgery with a micromanipulator. The manipulator is used to remove the nucleus from an egg which is then fused with a cell from a donor animal. In 2002, a technique called handmade cloning was introduced, which is cheaper and simpler, without the need for micromanipulation and also works better.

Handmade cloning (HMC) is done with micro blades and free-hand cell surgery under the dissecting microscope. The receptor egg is split in half and the half containing the nucleus is discarded. The half egg lacking a nucleus is fused with a donor somatic cell and the fused egg half is fused again with a second enucleate half egg before it is activated to produce an embryo that is then implanted in a surrogate mother. This speedy technique could even be performed in a clean home kitchen.

China noted the industrial potential of cloned animals, and while the West is battled by the question of cloning ethnics, China went ahead to establish and prop up the BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute), now the worlds largest genomics organization, endowing it with US$1.5 billion “collaboration funds”. Under the Bush administration, the United States banned federal funding for stem cell research, which was overturned only in 2009 by Obama. By that time however, the stem cell and cloning technologies in the US has lagged behind Europe and China.

The world’s most vibrant stem cell research center in brown

“His birth weight was 5.74 kg.” said professor Dr. Yutao Du, Director of BGI Ark Biotechnology Co. “Peng Peng is developing normally and appears healthy” she added. “The most difficult task has been accomplished, the transgenic sheep production platform is established, we are now ready for the industrial-scale production of cloned animals,” Dr. Yutao said.

China has already used the same technique to create economically profitable animals like cattle, pigs, goats and buffalos. The eventual goal is to boost the Chinese poultry, meat and animal products (i.e. furs, wool) industries.

The genetic modification may even resulted in improved meat quality by increasing the unsaturated fatty acid content. According to the researchers, the gene associated with -3 poly unsaturated fatty acid (-3PUFA) was successfully transferred into Peng Peng. -3PUFAs serve as essential fatty acids for humans, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and supporting the normal development of the brain, eye and neurons.

Large scale cloned animals production will lead to a plunge in prices for wool, leather and fur - cheaper clothing wear in future?

“The birth of Peng Peng means that people could absorb -3PUFAs by drinking milk or eating meat in the future.” said Dr. Yutao. Last year, BGI has successfully cloned pigs. During the 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, a heroic pig, named Zhu Jiangqiang, survived more than a month buried under rubble. China proceed to clone 6 piglets out from the famous animal.

“With each new species cloned, we learn more about the possible contribution of HMC to improve the health of animals and humans.” said Dr. Du. “I expect more breakthroughs on transgenic and cloned animal research in the foreseeable future.”

BGI currently has 4,000 scientists and technicians with numbers predicted to increase. The Institute also has collaborations with fifteen out of the top twenty global pharmaceutical companies.

Source: … made-china … t=hs&or=sn … hina-90000 … sheep.html … peng-2012/ … 5Cf19kdPj4

Next step China will start to mass manufacture human body parts and ship it in a container for really really cheap.

what for manufacture?

now they can simply ripped it off executed prisoners…mah.