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Calf born using sperm of cloned bull.

KAGOSHIMA, Japan, Oct. 4 Kyodo

A cow impregnated through artificial insemination with the sperm of a bull cloned from somatic cells gave birth Wednesday to a male calf in a first for Japan and probably the world, Japanese researchers said.

The researchers, from the Cattle Breeding Institute in Osumi in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan, said the birth proves that cloned bulls are capable of breeding and is a step toward using cloning technology in stock breeding.

They said the calf was born through natural delivery at around 7 a.m., adding that it weighs 27 kilograms and is drinking milk from its mother.

Two cows cloned from somatic cells gave birth to calves in July and September in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The institute started artificially inseminating cows with the sperm of bulls cloned from somatic cells in December 1999, and succeeded with 14 impregnation using the sperm of two cloned bulls. The institute expects the cows to give birth to more calves.

A prefectural livestock research center in Oita Prefecture in southwestern Japan expects a calf to be born by the same method around Oct. 16, according to the center.
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Publication:Japan Science Scan
Date:Oct 9, 2000
Words:190
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