A photo of China's first cloned cat, a kitten named Garlic, shared on Sina Weibo by Scientific Exploration. (Photo: China Plus)
A company in Beijing announced on Monday that it had successfully bred China's first cloned cat, reports China Science and Technology Daily.
"The kitten named Garlic was born on July 21 in a laboratory of the biotechnology company Sinogene. It was born from an embryo carried by a surrogate mother," said Wang Jidong, the CEO of Sinogene. "Garlic has been verified as a cloned cat by a third-party verification organization, and is currently in a good condition."
The birth of the kitten is the result of a cloning program that began last August. Chen Dayuan, a researcher from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the technology developed by the company has a high success rate: one cloned kitten from four implanted surrogates.
It's rare for cats to be successfully cloned, said Shi Zhensheng, a professor from the Veterinary Medicine College at China Agricultural University. Cats have unique reproductive characteristics, which make them difficult to clone. The success of Sinogene marks a step forward in China's cloning research sector.
The cloning technology used to create Garlic will help China to build a genetic library of endangered species, with the goal of breeding species under threat of extinction.