World's First Cloned Pig to Be Born Within Months Xinhua English Newswire
The world's first cloned pig should be born within months, British scientists predicted Thursday.
Researchers at Geron Bio-Med, a commercial spin-off of the Scotland-based Roslin Institute which produced Dolly the Sheep, told BBC they believed that cloned pigs will arrive by early 2000 at the latest.
Professor Ian Wilmutt, who helped develop the cloning technology known as nuclear transfer that produced Dolly, said he was hopeful of seeing cloned piglets "later this year or early in the new millennium".
The scientists hoped that eventually they could modify the technology to make other pig clones whose organs can be transplanted into humans.
Currently there are many more patients needing a transplant than there are donor organs available, and scientists believe pigs could fill this tissue gap.
Geron Bio-Med also believes its cloning technology is the key to producing animal tissue that is safe to use in humans, which the company hopes would help overcome the problems of rejection in organ transplant.
Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
"The science of nanotechnology, solutions for the future."