First camel cloned in UAE
By Kevin Scott, Staff Reporter
Published: April 13, 2009, 23:06
Dubai: The world's first cloned camel has been born in Dubai.
The female calf, called Injaz (meaning achievement), was produced at the Camel Reproduction Centre (CRC) last Wednesday.
The team at the CRC, headed by Dr Lulu Skidmore and Dr Ali Redha, said Injaz was created from cumulus cells harvested from the ovary of a female adult camel, which were grown in culture before being frozen in liquid nitrogen.
Dr Lulu Skidmore, Scientific Director of the CRC, told Gulf News: "We are all very excited at the birth of Injaz as she is the result of great skill and teamwork of everyone at the Camel Reproduction Centre. This significant breakthrough gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk producing camels in the future."
The team said the camel was born after an uncomplicated gestation period of 378 days. Injaz currently weighs 30kg. The DNA of Injaz's cells and that of the original ovarian cells have been tested using microsatellite DNA analysis at the Molecular Biology and Genetics Laboratory in Dubai, and have been found to be identical, thereby proving that Injaz is indeed a clone of the original female camel.
The news comes a year after the centre announced the birth of identical twin camel calves Zahi and Bahi. The male twins were created using a technique called embryo micro-manipulation.
The CRC, which was established in 1989, not only breeds camels but carries out genetic studies on old and new-world camelids. Rama the 'Cama" was born just over a decade ago as the world's first viable hybrid between a camel and a guanaco, related to the llama.
Cloning is the process of producing genetically-identical individuals. Cloning occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually.
The world's first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell was Dolly the Sheep, who was produced on July 5, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dolly's birth was heralded as one of the most significant breakthroughs. Dolly went on to gain worldwide fame before being put down in 2003 after a veterinary examination showed she had a progressive lung disease.