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The world’s first cloned camel

Dubai, 14 April, 2009  The scientists at Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai and Dr Ali Ridha (Administrative Director) have announced the birth of the world’s first cloned camel. The female camel calf, name Injaz (Meaning Achievement), was born safely at the Camel Reproduction Centre (Nakhali, Dubai) on Wednesday 8th of April 2009, after an uncomplicated gestation of 378 days.

The babay camel was created from cells harvested from the ovary of an adult she-camel which were grown in culture before being frozen in liquid nitrogen.

Dr Nisar Ahmed Wani (veterinarian embryologist at the Camel Reproduction Centre) injected one of these adult cells into a camel oocyte from which the nucleus had been removed. The oocyte and the adult cell were then fused with a tiny split-second electric current and chemically activated to induce them to start dividing just like a normal fertilized egg.

The resulting embryo was cultured for 7 days in the laboratory before it was transferred back into the uterus of a surrogate camel. Pregnancy was diagnosed 20 days later by ultrasound and monitored ultrasonography thereafter for the next 12.5 months.

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 CVRL, Dubai and have been found to be identical, thereby proving that INJAZ is indeed a clone of the original female camel.

Dr Lulu Skidmore (Scientific Director of the Camel Reproduction Centre) and Dr. Ulrich Wernery (Scientific Director of Central Veterinary Research Laboratory) says “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 in our research programme gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk producing camels in the future.

The Camel Reproduction Centre was founded 20 years ago. It is supported and financed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

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