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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News
 

 

January 4 - Chinese Scientist Plans to Clone a Million Cows per Year

Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

A Chinese company called Boyalife Genomics is planning to open a factory the size of three football fields in Tianjin this year, and what they’ll be manufacturing is… cows.  Clone cows.  100,000 of them per year to start, but company founder Xiao-Chun Xu dreams of cranking that production level up to a million per year. The Daily Beast reports that Xu’s vision ultimately includes mass-producing other useful animals as well, such as race horses and drug-sniffing dogs.
 
The technique has been refined over the ensuing decade to the point that large-scale cloning operations are possible — a South Korean firm that has been cloning dogs to soothe the broken hearts of pet owners is helping Boyalife Genomics set up their cow factory.
 
There are already some cow-cloning operations up and running, such as Trans Ova Genetics in the United States, which produces about 100 cloned calves per year, plus pigs and horses.  The Tico Times explained in a June 2014 article about Trans Ova that cloning could “boost the production of animal protein to feed the world’s growing population” by producing lines of livestock guaranteed to possess desirable characteristics such as “leaner meat, higher milk production, and disease resistance.”
 
So why not use cloning techniques to manufacture a generation of humans who could all qualify for Harvard or Peking University?  This is the question about cloning that haunts the scientific community.  Virtually every scientific organization around the world denounces human cloning experiments as immoral.  So does Xu, but he doesn’t quite see them as unthinkable, at least not on a long enough timeline.

 

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