TEHRAN (MNA) – Researchers at the Biotechnology Research Center at Royan Institute have cloned Asiatic cheetah embryos, which await the required funding to be transplanted into host mothers, according to the head of the research center.
Head of Biotechnology Research Center at Royan Institute, Dr. Mohammad Hossein Nasr-Esfahani, talked to Mehr News correspondent on recent developments regarding the cloning of rare and endangered species.
He said Iranian researchers have managed to clone goats and hand them over to ranchers. According to him, each cloned goat has its own unique characteristics.
"Two of the cloned goats produce about three to four kilograms of milk, which is a lot, but the third cloned goat can only produce two to three kilograms of milk, but is resistant to heat,” he added.
He also talked about Royan Institute's plans for cloning the endangered Asiatic cheetah, noting lack of sufficient budget as hurdles hampering the cloning process.
"So far, we have cloned embryos of Asiatic cheetah and tiger from their skin, but we need more budget to transplant them into host mothers,” he added.
He further noted the Ghomishloo ram as one of the rare species that has been cloned at Royan Institute.
Royan Institute is an Iranian clinical, research and educational institute dedicated to biomedical, translational and clinical researches, stem cell research and infertility treatment. In 2006, the Institute cloned a sheep for the very first time in Iran, naming it Royana. The first cloned goat was born in Iran in 2009.