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Chinese Researchers Record Porcine Handmade Cloning

Chinese researchers have cloned eight piglets in a simplified method compared to traditional cloning.

The piglets were born on August 30 by handmade cloning (HMC), an alternative of the conventional operation that requires expensive equipment, said Yang Huanming, a scientist at Beijing Genomics Institute's Shenzhen branch (BGI Shenzhen) that developed the HMC technology, on Saturday at a press conference.

HMC needs only a metal blade and skilled hands, which reduces costs and increases efficiency.

Yang, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the piglets could reproduce in a natural way.

"Cloned pork is relatively safe, and we're prepared for large-scale production," said Yang.

BGI experts conducted porcine HMC with Denmark scientists in 2006. The Chinese experts brought in the technology in 2007 and made a success after one year's efforts.

Pig cloning could offer organs for human transplantation and it is also an important way to retain or improve rare species, according to Yang.

(Xinhua News Agency October 12, 2008)

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