• Kyodo

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A cow impregnated through artificial insemination with the sperm of a bull cloned from somatic cells gave birth Wednesday to a male calf.

This is a first for Japan and probably the world, Japanese researchers claimed.

The researchers, from the Kagoshima Prefectural Cattle Breeding Institute in Osumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, said the birth proves cloned bulls are capable of breeding and is a step toward using cloning technology in livestock breeding.

They said the calf was born through natural delivery at around 7 a.m.

Researchers also said that the calf weighs 27 kg and is drinking milk from its mother.

Two cows cloned from somatic cells gave birth in Ishikawa Prefecture in July and September.

The public institute started artificially inseminating cows with the sperm of bulls cloned from somatic cells in December. It succeeded with 14 impregnations using the sperm of two cloned bulls. The institute fully expects the cows to give birth to more calves.

A prefectural livestock research center in Oita Prefecture expects a calf to be born by the same method around Oct. 16.

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