World's first surviving cloned buffalo delivers female calf in Karnal
The world's first surviving cloned buffalo, Garima-II, has given birth to a female calf here on Friday, establishing India's mettle in the field of animal cloning.
The female calf, named Mahima, was born through the 'hand-guided cloning technique' at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal.
In 2009, researchers at NDRI reportedly produced the world's first cloned buffalo using DNA from the ear of an adult female, but unfortunately the bovine could not survive for more than six days, as it was diagnosed with pneumonia soon after its birth.
History repeated itself and the institute produced a second clone, but it died of some serious ailment in 2011.
The third attempt proved lucky for the scientists and Garima-II was born on August 22, 2010.
The cloned buffalo not only survived without any complications, but also delivered a female calf on Friday.
The institute's director, A K Srivastava, said the calf was born by normal parturition and began suckling milk soon after its birth. The cloned buffalo showed impending calving symptoms and was given medical care.
"We are very proud to announce that our cloned buffalo Garima has given birth to a calf, first time in the world. We have kept her name Mahima. She was born at 1.51 a.m. by normal parturition. Garima-II was born in August 2010 and on March 27, 2012 Garima was inseminated with frozen-thawed semen of a progeny tested bull. We were constantly observing her since then. She has given birth to a female calf and it is a normal delivery. Mahima's weight is 32 kg and her health is normal," he said.
Earlier in March 2012, the world's first Pashmina goat clone 'Noori' was produced in Jammu and Kashmir.
Funded by World Bank, it was a joint project by Sher-i-Kashmir Agriculture University for Science and technology (SKAUST) and NDRI.
The use of cutting-edge biotechnology is yielding results all over the world. Researchers across the world believe that biotechnological intervention for the long-term conservation of species is a sound and most modern way of saving species that are headed towards extinction.
Cloning animals is generally a tedious process and requires several attempts, until it proves to be a success.