Wed, Jul 23, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Cloned goats get birthday bash at WTC


The Council of Agriculture said yesterday that it will hold a party today to celebrate the first birthday of Taiwan's first cloned goats.

Chairman Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) of the council is expected to preside over the ceremony at the Taipei World Trade Center in connection with the opening of an international biotechnology show there.

It will mark the first time that the goats -- a pair of twins cloned from somatic cells of an adult female alpine goat -- have made a public appearance. The animals, named Paochi (寶吉) and Paohsiang (寶祥), will stay at the Taipei World Trade Center for four days before being sent back to the council's Taiwan Livestock Research Institute in Tainan County.

The twins were born healthy July 5 last year, making them the world's first successfully cloned dairy goats from ear-derived somatic cells of an adult alpine goat.

According to statistics compiled by a British college, the success rates in cloning dairy goats from somatic cells of adult goats have been low around the world.

"The success rate is about 7.3 percent using somatic cells," an institute spokesman said, adding that only six cloned dairy goats have survived using somatic cells from embryos. Paochi and Paohsiang are the world's only two surviving clones created with ear-derived somatic cells, the spokesman said.

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