BEIJING, May 31 (TMTPOST) — A surrogate pig has given birth to seven cloned pig babies after 110 days of pregnancy in Tianjin China.
This is the first time for an automated cloning system to complete an unmanned cloning project.
Zhao Xin, a professor on a research team at Nankai University, collaborated with the Tianjin Pasturage Veterinary Institute of the Tianjin Academy of Agricultural Sciences on the automated cloning system.
The first batch of pigs that were cloned using the research team’s first-generation robots have been used for breeding. Nine out of 13 healthy cloned pigs have been used for breeding, registering a rate of 69% of getting a breeder.
The Chinese market has huge demand for pig breeders. Every year, there is an addition of 13 million female pigs while there is an addition of over 300,000 male pigs. The automated cloning technology will help increase the supply of pig breeders and promote the integration of cloning technology and agricultural production. Such technology can help China quickly clone animal breeds of high quality and solve supply issues in the agricultural sector.
Earlier in 2017, Zhao’s research team had already made their first batch of cloned pigs using robots. However, the cloning process back then was not entirely automated. This time, Zhao and his research team were able to achieve full automation.
Zhao is a Professor at the Department of Robotics and Automatic Information System at Nankai University’s School of Artificial Intelligence. His research covers micromanipulation robot system, micro-nano design and processing, biological pattern formation and tissue development modeling.