Cloned Bull! …What's Next?

DEFOREST, WISCONSIN-A U.S. biotech company reported on August 6, 1997 that it had cloned a bull. This is apparently a first in the annals of animal cloning.

The genetically engineered calf (whose name just happens to be Gene) is a Holstein. Gene is reportedly marked black and white and was born about half a year ago, according to ABS Global, a cattle reproductive science firm based in De Forest, Wisconsin.

Gene was developed by what ABS Global proclaimed to be a new "highly advanced" method. However, the firm did not disclose how their "highly advanced" method differs from other now-ancient ways of cloning.

ABS did say that Holstein Gene was not cloned from an adult cell. That makes Holstein Gene utterly different from the Scottish sheep Dolly which was cloned in 1996 from a ewe's udder.

In time, the company promised to divulge more details about the genesis of Gene. A skeptical scientist would also want to have convincing evidence that Gene was, in fact, a clonal product and not simply an ordinary calf conceived by more mundane methods.

The avowed reasons for cloning cattle include genetic manipulation of the clone to produce more milk or better beef and the insertion of genes into the clone so it makes drugs and other useful items for humanity. (A commercial bonanza might be in making exact replicas, like Gene, of bulls with the best breeding records.)

For more information about Cloning, please read the article, "For Dad's Fatherhood in danger?... Cloning!"

Last Editorial Review: 1/13/2003

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