LSU veterinarians deliver cloned calves by caesarian section

BATON ROUGE A team of LSU veterinarians recently delivered two cloned calves by caesarean section at the university's School of Veterinary Medicine.

The veterinarians delivered Mouill and Soleil on different days so they could focus intensely on each calf after its birth.

Mouill, French for "wet," was born on a rainy Monday morning, January 29. Soleil, or "sun," was born the following Tuesday.

The calves were cloned by Cyagra Inc. of Manhattan, Kan., under a trial procedure Cyagra is filing as a new patent. The company brought its cloning technology to LSU in the form of two surrogate cows who gave birth to the Charolais calves. The calves were developed for Lester Colomb of the Colomb Cattle Company of Lafayette, La.

The veterinary school became involved in the project to deliver the calves and to provide the necessary medical treatment in the first critical days. Mouill and Soleil are the seventh and eighth calves cloned by Cyagra since August but are the first cloned through a new process developed by the company.

Cyagra Inc. is a division of Advanced Cell Technology, a company focusing on development of transgenic animal technologies with applications in protein production and cell and organ transplant therapy. Cyagra's research and work focuses on livestock cloning for individual clients that will also further its own research.

According to Audy Spell, director of operations for Cyagra, "Most of the livestock we develop is for clients wanting to replicate something valuable."

Cloning involves transfer of a donor cell into an enucleated oocyte, or cell whose DNA has been extracted. Cyagra then performs numerous procedures to mimic natural occurrences of cell reproduction before the developed embryos are transferred into a surrogate mother who will carry the pregnancy to term.

"The cloning process for Mouill and Soleil is basically the same as our past clones," Spell said. "What was different was the

Contact: Kristine Calongne
Louisiana State University

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