World's first handmade cloned transgenic sheep born in China

Apr 19, 2012

Chinese scientists from BGI together with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Shihezi University, Xinjiang province, made a significant breakthrough in animal cloning. The world's first transgenic sheep produced with a simplified technique, handmade cloning, was successfully born at 12:16pm, March 26, 2012, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The project was also supported by the Animal Science Academy of Xinjiang.

"The transgenic sheep is named 'Peng Peng' (after the identical given names of the two cloners), his was 5.74 kg." said excitedly Dr. Yutao Du, Director of BGI Ark Biotechnology Co., LTD. (BAB), one of BGI's affiliates focusing on large scale production of transgenic and cloned animals. "Peng Peng is developing normally and appears healthy" she added.

The project has been launched more than two years ago. Apart from the general inefficiency of cloning (only a small fraction of the reconstructed embryos develop to healthy offspring) cloners had to overcome additional difficulties including the special climate and compromised laboratory environment with very basic instruments. Accordingly, an innovative simplified technique called Handmade Cloning (HMC) was used, with less demand for sophisticated equipment, simplified procedures, lower costs and higher . In 2009, were collected from a Chinese Merino sheep, and by a transgenic cell line was established. After numerous attempts, the HMC system for sheep cloning was successfully established in October 2011. The transfer of the produced embryos has eventually led to the present achievement.

The may result in improved meat quality by increasing the unsaturated fatty acid content. According to the researchers, the gene associated withω-3 poly unsaturated fatty acid (ω-3PUFA) was successfully transferred into Peng Peng. ω-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. "The birth of Peng Peng means that people could absorb ω-3PUFAs by drinking milk or eating meat in the future." said Dr. Du, "The most difficult task has been accomplished, the transgenic sheep production platform is established, we are ready for the industrial-scale development."

Since HMC was introduced in 2001, offspring of several important species including cattle, pig, goat and water buffalo have been produced by using this technique. The procedure may contribute to efforts to save endangered species and to produce medicines for human diseases through transgenic animals.

Last year, BGI has made great achievements on cloned transgenic mini-pigs and micro-pigs. Last August, a heroic pig, named Zhu Jiangqiang (Strong-Willed Pig), who had survived more than a month buried under rubble after the 2008 earthquake in China's Sichuan province was also cloned, producing 6 piglets identical with 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."

Explore further: Chickens to chili peppers: Scientists search for the first genetic engineers

More information: www.genomics.cn

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China clones castrated quake hero pig

Sep 18, 2011

A heroic pig who survived more than a month buried under rubble after the 2008 earthquake in China's Sichuan province has been successfully cloned, according to a report Sunday.

No cloned steaks on EU plates

Oct 19, 2010

The European Union on Tuesday announced plans for a five-year ban on animal cloning for food production as well as a traceability system for imports of semen and embryos of clones.

Recommended for you

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

19 hours ago

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ClickHere
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
I wonder if the meat smells like fish oil ...
epsi00
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
I wonder if the meat smells like fish oil ...


Wake up and smell the roses. China is not the China of 1889. If you are lucky, a Chinese company may hire you one day.
RealScience
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
@epsi00 - ClickHere was referring to fish oil being the main source of omega-3 oils, and not anything to do with China.
aironeous
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2012
I wonder if the meat smells like fish oil ...


Wake up and smell the roses. China is not the China of 1889. If you are lucky, a Chinese company may hire you one day.


After they steal all of our technology. They steal an enormous amount of our technology. We lose between $300 billion to
$1 trillion per year in business because of it, plus they counterfeit an enormous amount of our brands, plus they use other dirty tricks to steal our trade.

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

The importance of plumes

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...