The future has arrived. Milk and T-bone steaks from cloned cattle or from herds boosted by cloned animals are all just a blink away.
A herd of cloned cattle in the rolling dairyland of Wisconsin in the US has just been brought into milk production.
China will give birth to its first cloned cow in January.
And an Australian-New Zealand company aims to run off copies of top breeding bulls for export to the world -- as well as copy elite animals from Britain and elsewhere to guard against gene destruction because of foot and mouth disease.
Cloning promises to revolutionise the multi-billion dollar beef and dairy markets, its advocates say.
Critics urge caution and voice worries about the health and welfare of the cloned animals.
The company, Clone International, which is backed by a group of entrepreneurial scientists, bought an exclusive licence for the technology that in 1997 produced the world's first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep.
Cattle will be first off the production line. But Clone International also hopes to clone the world's first horse.
"Most people ... say `so you're going to produce 50 Phar Laps are you?'" Clone International chief Richard Fry said, referring to the champion Australian racehorse of the 1930s.
Not quite. The Dolly technique requires live tissue, and Phar Lap is long dead. Cloning horses is also, so far, extremely hard. But cloning cattle is here and now. "We think it's a huge market," Fry said.
The company's first cattle clone, a Holstein dairy bull, will be born in a month or so. A couple of top cloned bulls are due to be born every month from then on, from 15 pregnancies now in progress.
This puts it at the forefront of commercial cloning.
The proven Dolly technology, purchased by U.S. biopharmaceutical giant Geron Corp in 1999 from Scotland's Roslin Institute, is otherwise licenced to only a few in the US and Britain.
In partnership with cloning company AgResearch, Clone International expects to produce every year about five elite animals, for dairy bull semen production, for the Australian and New Zealand domestic markets.
Initial demand for exported clones is seen at 10-20 a year.
The potential is huge. China alone has 4.5 million genetically poor Holstein dairy cattle, Fry said. And China's government is keen that schoolchildren drink more milk.
Poor genetics is also an issue with millions of cattle in India and Bangladesh.
"Access to genetics straight away ... would have a huge impact on their industries," Fry said.
As well as selling the genetics of antipodean cattle, among the best in the world, Fry's cloning company aims to export the purity of disease-free Australian farmlands.
Fry believes developing countries in Asia, the Indian subcontinent and South America, as well as developed countries in Europe and North America, will be attracted by the low costs of clones.
It costs around A$200,000 (US$104,000) to clone a bull, compared with a market price of A$500,000 to A$2 million for an original elite Holstein.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the
SCATTERED: Production would be dispersed among a number of countries, which would bring an end to so-called world factories, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu said Decentralized production would be the new focus in manufacturing, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) yesterday told an online forum held by the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所). “The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a heavy impact on supply chains as well as production ... [production] would no longer be concentrated in solely one country, this is the end of what we used to call world factories,” Liu said during a panel discussion hosted by MIC director Victor Tsan (詹文男). As the US and China continue to dominate and sway international relations, the rest of the world is