Dubai claims world's first cloned camel

Apr 14, 2009
The United Arab Emirates has claimed its own version of Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, after the birth of a cloned camel in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday claimed its own version of Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, after the birth of a cloned camel in Dubai this month.

"This is the first cloned camel in the world," said Dr Nisar Wani, researcher at the Camel Reproduction Centre.

Injaz, a female one-humped camel, was born on April 8 after more than five years of work by scientists at the Camel Reproduction Centre and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, The National newspaper reported.

"This significant breakthrough in our research programme gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk producing camels in the future," Dr Lulu Skidmore, scientific director at the Camel Reproduction Centre, said in a statement.

Injaz, whose name means achievement in Arabic, is the clone of a camel that was slaughtered for its meat in 2005, the National said.

Scientists used DNA extracted from cells in the ovaries of the slain animal and put it into an egg taken from the surrogate mother to create a reconstructed embryo, it said.

Dolly was born in 1996 in Edinburgh in what was regarded as one of the world's most significant scientific breakthroughs, but was put to sleep in 2003.

(c) 2009 AFP

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not rated yet Apr 14, 2009
Just goes to show, genetic propagation is a biological mandate, and being turned into dinner does not excuse this sacred duty.

Seriously though... why choose a dead animal to clone? Doesn't that foreclose lots of additional tests that could be run in the future? Clearly, this wasn't about saving a rare or extinct species. Or did someone say, "Damn, that was a fine camel steak... I'd REALLY like to have that again!"

not rated yet Apr 14, 2009
You're not going to build "pleistocene park" right of the bat. If you try doing that it will be very expensive and it will be a dismal failure.

When you fail, you learn something; you can rapidly and cheaply fail by trying to clone lab mice. You learn a lot, the cost both in time and money is small.

That way when you're doing more expensive camel cloning you will have already eliminated the most common failure modes using cheap lab mice rather than expensive camels. Each new failure will be something interesting that you couldn't have learned with mice.

When you finally start trying to clone mammoths using modern elephants' uterous somewhere a long way down the line, you've accumulated most of the necessary knowledge as cheaply as it could be had.