Denmark creates cloned pigs using groundbreaking technique  

2006.06.12
Scandinavia's first ever cloned animals were born last week – the result of a new cloning technique developed at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Foulum, Jutland

Scandinavia's first ever cloned animals were born in Denmark last week – the result of a new cloning technique developed at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Foulum, Jutland. The three cloned piglets were the result of team efforts, also involving Aarhus University and Landbohøjskolen, led by Professor Gabor Vajta.

The technique used at Foulum was developed by Gabor Vajta, who has termed the method "hand made cloning". The attraction of this embryo cloning technique is that it can be simply performed using an ordinary microscope, and is many times cheaper than conventional methods which demand the use of expensive equipment. Professor Vajta's new method is also thought to be more likely to result in successful gestation.

Once the new cloning technique has been proven in practice, the next step will be to clone transgenic pigs, i.e. pigs which have been genetically modified. The particular aim is to produce cloned pigs with inherited disorders such as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, so they can be used for research into these human diseases.

Professor Vajta clearly sees commercial potential as well as healthcare benefits in the new technique. He hopes that the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Foulum will become the cloning centre not only for Denmark, but possibly also for the whole of Scandinavia. The news was reported by Ingeniøren (The Engineer).

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