After Dolly, here comes a cloned calf

FARM animals will soon be providing more useful things than meat and milk - with transgenic sheep and cows producing valuable drugs.

A serious international commercial battle is in the offing as companies compete to exploit the possibilities and the latest part of the struggle takes the form of a calf - cloned using the technique that helped produce Dolly the sheep.

By cloning an embryo cell, scientists in the US have created Mr Jefferson - a 98lb (44.5kg) Holstein.

Born on 16 February, Mr Jefferson (named after President Jefferson, as it was born on Presidents' Day) was produced by the American subsidiary of PPL Therapeutics, which has been closely involved with the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, where Dolly was born in 1996.

The latest work is not in itself a scientific breakthrough. But it marks an important commercial step forward in "pharming" - the use of farm animals to produce commercially valuable drugs. That will be done by adding human or other genes to the animals.

PPL already has a flock of such "transgenic" sheep which produce a protein in their milk used to fight cystic fibrosis in humans, and last year it produced "Polly" - a transgenic cloned sheep carrying the human gene for the production of the blood-clotting agent Factor IX, which could help haemophiliacs.

But two other American companies also claim to have cloned cattle. Last August, scientists at ABS Global Inc. in Wisconsin announced that they had been first to clone a calf - a Holstein named Gene. And last month scientists announced in Boston that they had developed a technique for producing customised cloned calves. Steven Stice and James Rohl of Advanced Cell Technology, told a conference that 13 cows are waiting to give birth to cloned calves at a ranch in Texas.

But nobody outside ABS Global or ACT knows what technique they used. The Roslin Institute has applied for patents around the world on its "nuclear transfer" technique - moving the DNA from a cell into an egg cell from which the nucleus has been removed.

If ABS Global and ACT have used the same technique, the Roslin Institute may have a prior claim, and be able to claim licensing fees.

So far, only PPL has been licensed by the Roslin Institute to use the nuclear transfer technique. The main potential of cloned cattle is to produce large quantities of human serum albumin, used mainly in trauma patients. At present hospitals rely on donated blood.

The difficulty of cloning adult cells compared to embryo cells has led some scientists to claim that Dolly was the result of a embryo cell in the sheep's blood. But Dr Harry Griffin a senior scientist at the Institute said yesterday the chances of this having happened were "one in several million".

Suggested Topics
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits