Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 19:15 pm (KSA) 16:15 pm (GMT)

Dubai scientists clone world’s first camel

Injaz with her surrogate mother (Courtesy of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory)
Injaz with her surrogate mother (Courtesy of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory)

The world’s first cloned camel was born in Dubai paving the way for scientists to create elite-camels that can excel in racing or milk producing.

The female calf is named Injaz, Arabic for achievement, and was born on April 8 after five years of work by scientists at the Camel Reproduction Center and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in a project initiated by the ruler of Dubai.

The work started in 2003 when scientists developed a method to develop a so called “reconstructed embryo,” an embryo which carries the DNA of a single donor camel using eggs harvested from a female and implanted into a surrogate.

 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 
Dr. Lulu Skidmore

Injaz was cloned from a randomly chosen camel – slaughtered for food in 2005 -- and was the only calf born alive out of seven pregnancies. Scientists say in the future they will look into cloning camels specifically for racing and milk production.

"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," Dr. Lulu Skidmore, the center’s scientific director, said in a statement.

The first mammal ever cloned was Dolly the sheep, who was born in 1996 in Scotland. Dolly was heralded as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs, but died five-and-a-half years later due to a lung disease common to older animals, prompting researchers to examine whether using the DNA of older animals to create an embryo puts the clones at risk of aging prematurely.

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