French team clone endangered species

6th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 6 (AFP) - French researchers have begun an inventory of animal species in Vietnam and a programme to clone those which are endangered to ensure their survival, a French public research institute said.

PARIS, June 6 (AFP) - French researchers have begun an inventory of animal species in Vietnam and a programme to clone those which are endangered to ensure their survival, a French public research institute said.  

One of these endangered species is the forest-dwelling ox or saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), Vietnam's emblematic mammal which weighs about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and whose discovery was only announced in 1995 in the journal Nature.  

"It is urgent to save it (the saola), and reproductive cloning is the solution which was decided on," said the French Centre 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 programme is part of the French Biodiva project signed in 2003 for three years and funded by the foreign ministry which aims to take an inventory of and conserve the many different animals species which inhabit the isolated mountainous regions of Vietnam such as the forest-dwelling bison or gaura, the Javan rhinoceros and the giant muntjac, a type of deer.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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