DeFOREST, Wisconsin: Move over, Dolly. Make way for Gene, a six-month-old calf a biotechnology company says it created using a new cloning technique.
The baby bull, brought into the world with the help of scientists from ABS Global Inc., was cloned from stem cells taken from a 30-day-old calf embryo. They say this is improves on traditional embryo-cloning techniques, because stem cells can form dozens of identical animals — and hopefully produce large numbers of prime cattle for human consumption.
But the bull breeders are being more than a little optimistic. TIME's Christine Gorman reports that cloning is still a crap shoot: "The disadvantage of embryo breeding is that you have no idea if it will produce prize material," she says. "You could spend a whole lot of time and energy making clones from an embryo and ending up with dozens of mediocre animals." And that's no bull.