French Cloning To Aid Preservation Of Vietnam's Biodiversity

Published: Jun 07, 2005

French researchers have begun an inventory of animal species in Vietnam and a program to clone those which are endangered to ensure their survival, the Agence France-Presse reported. One of these endangered species is the forest-dwelling ox or sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), Vietnam's emblematic mammal which weighs about 100 kilograms (220 pounds), the news agency said. "There is a sense of urgency in saving it [the sao la], and reproductive cloning is the solution which was decided on," said the French Center for International Cooperation and Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) which participated in three-day European research exhibition in Paris at the weekend. "At the moment, six-day-old embryos have been developed thanks to a cloning technique involving the transfer of cell nuclei. A number of them have been frozen, ready for implantations into carrier mothers," the center said, as quoted by the AFP. The program is part of the French Biodiva project signed in 2003 for three years and funded by the foreign ministry.

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