Dolly, the first cloned sheep, proved that cloned members of the ovine species could reproduce. Recently, Kaga No. 2, a cloned cow, gave birth to a calf conceived by artificial insemination, showing that cows are another cloned species that can reproduce.
The birth took place in July at the Ishikawa Prefectural Center for Animal Husbandry and Research, 190 miles northwest of Tokyo. The research center is also home to Nodo No. 2, another cloned cow, expected to give birth in September.
This latest development with a cloned cow supports the idea that there is nothing inherently specific to sheep that would make them more likely candidates than other species when it comes to cloning reproduction.
Japanese researchers are eager to perfect cloning in cows because of the nation's market for expensive, high-quality beef.
To date, scientists have produced clones from sheep, adult cows, goats, mice, and pigs. The Missyplicity Project, which will attempt to clone the first dog, is still ongoing.