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Iran's first cloned calf dies

TEHRAN, July 25 (Mehr News Agency) -- The first calf cloned and delivered in Isfahan, Boniana, died on July 21, just ten days after its birth, Royan Institute Research Center director Mohammad Hossein Nasr Isfahani said here on Saturday.

Report: Boniana: Iran's first cloned calf is born

Nasr Isfahani blamed the environmental factors mainly for the death of the cloned calf, which was born after 270 days of pregnancy. 

The black and white calf, which was delivered by caesarean section at Royan Institute in Isfahan on July 11, was the result of a considerable number of in-vitro fertilizations (IVF) in more than 100 recipient cows.

According to Isfahani, Boniana died of infection, "But the exact cause of its death is not pinpointed yet."

He referred to the successful birth of Tamina, the second cloned calf at the institute in Isfahan, and expressed hope that it would not meet a similar fate.

In 2006 Iran became the first country in the Middle East to announce it had cloned a sheep. Two and a half years later, that animal is healthy, the institute said in April after it announced it had cloned a goat.

A clone is a genetic replica of another living being. Some scientists are studying cloning in hopes that it can be used in agriculture to produce many copies of animals that have valuable qualities -- such as cows whose milk is more nutritious or better for processing dairy foods.

Cloning also could be used to genetically engineer cows and sheep that can produce pharmaceuticals in their milk.

... Payvand News - 07/25/09 ... --

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