First cloned buffalo dies but Indian scientists happy

February 12th, 2009 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Karnal (Haryana), Feb 12 (IANS) Even though scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) here received a setback Thursday after the country’s first cloned buffalo calf died just five days after its birth, they are happy that the “superior technology” they used for cloning was “tested”.
The female buffalo calf died at the NDRI centre here, 150 km from the national capital, Wednesday night, scientists said.

“The buffalo was cloned and was born Feb 6. It died last night. But the good thing is that we used a superior technology for the cloning and it was tested,” scientist S.K. Singla told IANS.

The cloning was done on the ‘Murrah’ breed of buffalo. The breed has been successful in Haryana and other states as a high milk-yielding variety.

“The new technique is less demanding in terms of equipment, time and skill,” an NDRI statement said. The advantage of the technique, the statement said, is that the desired sex of the cloned buffalo could be obtained.

The cause of the death of the young buffalo was attributed to infection in the lungs.

The buffalo, the first official cloning done in India, was cloned from a one-year-old mother buffalo, Singla said.

The NDRI scientists claimed they had cloned the world’s first buffalo calf using a technique superior to the one used in cloning ‘Dolly’ - the sheep - by scientists in a laboratory in Glasgow city in Scotland.

Scientists of the Animal Biotechnology Centre at NDRI said their “hand-guided cloning technique” was an advanced modification of the “conventional cloning technique” used in cloning Dolly.

Scientists said further testing of the cloning technique could help in supplementing milk production in the country in view of increased requirement of milk.

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