A farm in Kunming, Yunnan, has managed to successfully clone a batch of pigs through parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction where the embryos are able to develop without fertilisation. It’s a wee bit scientific, but this is some cool stuff.
According to cyol.com, such a method of cloning is extremely rare among more vertebrates, and even more so among mammals. While the Beijing Genomics Institute was produces 500 cloned pigs a year to test new medicine, this has been accomplished by implanting donor DNA with an unfertilised egg to create a fertilised embryo.
Researchers from the Yunnan farm began the parthenogenetic activation process in a female germ cell on Wednesday 19 February, and will remove the foetus after using somatic cell cloning technology this Wednesday, creating the world’s first pig that was cloned without fertilisation. This breakthrough is especially significant for scientists who are researching reproductive development, breeding as well as genetic diseases – let’ just hope that the farm wouldn’t be trying push its products in the form of highly dubious genetically-modified meals.
By Yuen Sin