Dubai, the second-largest sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates, said it has cloned a camel for the first time and called it Injaz, or “achievement” in Arabic.
The female camel was born on April 8, the Camel Reproduction Centre financed by the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said this week.
The first animal cloned from adult cells was Dolly the sheep, born in the U.K. in 1996. Since then, others have included mice, cattle, goats, rabbits, cats, mules and pigs.
"This significant breakthrough in our research program gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk-producing camels in the future," Lulu Skidmore, scientific director of the Camel Reproduction Centre, said in an e-mailed statement.
Injaz was created by cells harvested from the ovary of an adult camel which were grown in culture before being frozen in liquid nitrogen, the centre said.
The cells were then injected into a camel egg from which the nucleus had been removed. The egg and the embryo were fused using an electric current and chemicals were used to split them like a normal fertilized egg.
The embryo was cultured for a week before it was transferred to the uterus of a surrogate camel. The camel was deemed pregnant 20 days later and gave birth after just over a year.
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal