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Indian cloned buffalo calf dies of pneumonia

Scientists at India's National Dairy Reserach Institute said they have cloned the world's first buffalo calf.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2009 6:00 pm

Scientists at India’s National Dairy Reserach Institute on Thursday said the buffalo calf they had cloned has died of pneumonia.

The buffalo calf was born on February 6 at NDRI campus.

Earlier the scientists at NDRI had claimed that they have cloned the world’s first buffalo calf using a technique superior to the one used in cloning ‘Dolly’ – the sheep.

In a statement,scientists of the Animal Biotechnology Centre at the Karnal-based NDRI said the “handguided cloning technique” was an advanced modification of the “conventional cloning technique” used in cloning Dolly.

“The new technique is less demanding in terms of equipment,time and skill,” the statement had said.

Moreover,one of the biggest advantages of the new technique is that the calf of “desired sex” can be obtained,said the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR),which administers NDRI.

The scientists involved in the cloning are hopeful that the new technique would lead to an new era in animal science for faster multiplication of superior germ plasm.

Congratulating the team,ICAR Director General Mangala Rai said that the new technology would help immensely in facing the challenge of increasing demand of milk in view of growing population in the country.

Rai pointed out that hand-guided cloning would lead to a new era in animal science for faster multiplication of superior germ plasm.

Commenting on the successful cloning of buffalo calf,NDRI’s Director A K Srivastava said,”In India,we have the largest population of best buffaloes in the world.

However,the percentage of elite animals is very low and there is an urgent need to enhance the population of these buffaloes”.

The cloning of the buffalo calf was done by a team of six scientists – S K Singla,R S Manik,M S Chauhan,P Palta,R A Shah and A George.

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