Scientists from China have cloned three "supercows", they can produce a large amount of milk
Scientists from China have successfully cloned three "supercows" that can produce an unusually large amount of milk, local media reports.
Scientists made 120 cloned embryos from the cells of highly productive cows and placed them in a surrogate cow.
Jin Yaping, the leader of the project, believes that cloning "supercows" is a big step and allows China, "in an economically feasible way", to breed the best breeds.
"Only five out of 10.000 cows in China can produce 100 tons of milk in their lifetime, making them a valuable breeding resource. But sometimes it is difficult to determine exactly which animal it is, which makes it difficult to breed them. The intention is to create a herd of more than 1.000 supercows in two to three years, to reduce China's dependence on imported cows," Jin said.
The Northwestern University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology has cloned Holstein Friesian cows that originated in the Netherlands. Those cows can produce 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk in their entire lives – which is 1,7 times the amount of milk produced by the average cow. China's state media Ningxia reports that the cloned animals were born this year.
China imports as much as 70 percent of its dairy cows from abroad. In many countries, including the United States, farmers cross-breed these animals for more favorable genes and traits, with the ultimate goal being higher milk production or higher disease resistance.
This Far Eastern country has made great progress in animal cloning in recent years. In 2022, a Chinese company created the world's first cloned arctic wolf, and in 2017, Chinese scientists announced that they had produced cloned cattle with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis.
First case of its kind in the world: Successfully cloned arctic wolf