Chinese scientists say they have successfully cloned three cows that can produce an unusually high amount of milk.
Researchers claim that the cloned cows are capable of producing 50% more milk than the average American cow, according to state media reports
Technocracy News reports: Scientists sampled tissues from cows across China and used what’s called the somatic cell nuclear transfer method, which involves taking the nucleus from a body cell of the animal to be cloned and transferring it into a donated egg cell. Then embryos were placed inside surrogate cows.
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The cloning experiment began last year at the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology in Shaanxi, China. The three calves, bred by scientists, were born in the Ningxia region in the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year on January 23. These calves were cloned from highly productive cows from the Holstein Friesian breed, which originated in the Netherlands. According to Chinese state media, the chosen animals are capable of producing 18 tons of milk per year, which is nearly 1.7 times the amount of milk an average cow in the United States produces.
Jin Yaping, the lead scientist called this a birth of ‘super cows.’ Furthermore, he said, this breakthrough has great significance for China to concentrate and preserve in an economically feasible way the very best cows in the country, and ‘super cows’ are efforts to revitalize its agricultural sector with breeder animals.
For dairy cows, China is 70% reliant on overseas purchases. According to Global Times, China has roughly 6.6 million cows, however, only about 5 in 10,000 such cattle in China are highly productive.
According to Jin Yaping, this new cloning method means, that people can preserve the genes of these super cows in a timely manner and these cows can provide an excellent resource for future breeding.
Further, he said, “Using cloning technology alone won’t have any economic meaning, and the combination of tapping reproductive technology and using low-productive cows as surrogates allowed us to reproduce 20 more offspring compared with just using cloning for a given time period.”
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