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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Italian laboratory clones 14 pigs
Image: Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona
The piglets are a few weeks old
The Italian researchers who produced the first horse clone have announced the birth of 14 cloned piglets.

The animals were born several weeks ago at the Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona.

Research leader Prof Cesare Galli said the pigs would help in understanding animal to human organ transplants.

Scientists have now cloned sheep, mice, cattle, goats, rabbits, cats, pigs, mules and dogs.

The first horse clone - a Halflinger mare named Prometea - was born at the research laboratory in the summer of 2003. Cow clones have also been produced there.

The latest experiment was carried out as part of a European Union project to study stem cells in cloned animals.

Stem cells are the body's master cells, and have the ability to become many different adult tissues.

Scientists are interested in using the pig as a model for transplantation research because it is close to the human in terms of anatomy and physiology.




SEE ALSO:
First cloned horse unveiled in Italy
06 Aug 03 |  Science/Nature
Champion endurance horse cloned
14 Apr 05 |  Science/Nature
Mule clones open disease window
16 Feb 04 |  Science/Nature


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