- SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean scientists have succeeded in cloning
a cow and hope to use the technology to mass produce the animal, according
to the science and technology ministry.
- "Jean-ie," a calf cloned from
genes taken from a 980-kg (2,205-lb) adult cow, was born last Saturday,
the ministry said in a statement.
- "In the near future, we hope to
distribute such cloned embryos to local farms to produce more of the large
cows for their meat," said Kim Ho-seung, assistant director of the
ministry's research and development division.
- The calf was named after a famous local
poet, Hwang Jean-ie, by President Kim Dae-jung as both were deemed "ahead
of their time," the statement said.
- "In contrast with current in vitro
fertilization methods, cloning reduces the chances that the newborn's genes
will deviate from the original cow's genetic characteristics," Kim
- The government-sponsored experiment,
conducted by a Seoul National University research team and led by Professor
Hwang Woo-sok, was the country's second successful cow-cloning cloning
- In February, the team succeeded in giving
birth to a calf called "Young-long," cloned for milking purposes,
Professor Hwang said.
- Hwang said the team used the same nuclear-transfer
method as that used by Scotland's Roslin Institute to create Dolly the
sheep, the world's first cloned animal.
- The technique involves fusing genetic
material from a normal cell with an unfertilised embryo.
- "We are also working on cloning
methods for genetic conservation of endangered species such as tigers and
some types of racehorses," Hwang said.
- Late last year, another South Korean
research team triggered an uproar among local civic groups and academic
circles when it said it had cloned a human embryo for the first time.
- The experiment was aborted at the stage
at which a fertilised egg is normally implanted into a womb for artificial
pregnancy. The researchers said they would not resume it until local legislators
clarified the legal issues involved.