Tianjin, the North port city of China, will witness the creation of the largest animal cloning factory. The controversial science of cloning may finally get widespread acceptance as commercialization begins. The safety of cloning has been questioned innumerable times even after successful clones have been produced in different parts of the world.
Pets, beef cattle as well as racehorses will be cloned in the plant which is located in Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA). It is a government sponsored Business Park. The construction of the main building will be completed by the first half of 2016. The center is being jointly built by Sinica, the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine, Peking University’s Institute of Molecular Medicine and Sooam Biotech Research Foundation of South Korea.
The TEDA will be working in collaboration with Sinica which is a subsidiary of Boyalife Group. Sinica focuses on stem cell and regenerative medicine. The cloning factory intends to overcome the woes of farmers who are struggling to produce enough beef to keep up with the demands of the market.
According to Xu Xiaochun who is the board chairman of Boyalife Group, the company envisions the production of 100,000 farm animals’ embryos a year during the initial years and plans to increase the production to 1 million embryos. The center will also include a gene storage area and a museum.
The world’s first cloned animal was a sheep named Dolly which was born on July 5, 1996 in Britain. Since then, scientists have successfully cloned many other animals. Chinese scientists are cloning sheep, pigs and cattle since 2000.
Cloning was earlier limited to scientific research only. The establishment of China’s first commercial cloning company was in Shandong Province in September 2014. Cloning is turning into a promising investment as more companies have started showing interest in the technology for commercial use.