Taiwan scientists announced that first cloned pigs carrying double transgenes of pig DNA and human DNA has been developed, according to news from Taiwan Friday.
The successful development of the cloned pigs is medically significant for developing agents to help raise pig immunity and making protein drugs for treatment of leukemia, they said.
The three pigs, dubbed Copypig No. 1, 2 and 3, were born recently and remain in good health.
Taiwan scientists said the mortality rate of cloned pigs reaches its peak within the first month of birth, which is why they chose to announce their success only after the piglets had survived for more than one month.
They said the entire project can be considered a real success only after the copypigs prove to be able to reproduce.
Taiwan researchers produced their first cloned calf in September 2001. The cloned animal, however, died four days later from unknown causes.
(People's Daily April 21, 2002)