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Mullahs' regime says "No" to cloning of Cheetah
Jul 9, 2005

India's ambitious plan to clone the cheetah, which vanished from the subcontinent in 1962 due to largescale hunting, has run into a dead end.

Iran has refused to send two cheetahs � a male and a female � to India for research purposes. They have also refused to allow a team of scientists from Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to travel to Iran to collect sperm and tissue samples from a cheetah in a zoo there.

The CCMB has been trying for over six years to get some tissues of the animal from Iran for cloning.

CCMB director Lalji Singh and his team wanted to take the genes from live cheetah cells and fuse it with empty leopard eggs.

Any resulting embryos would then be carried in leopard surrogates. Iran is the only country where a close relative of the extinct Indian cheetah is found.

Singh, who was the first scientist in India to use DNA fingerprinting to solve criminal cases, said, "Iran and India were to jointly work on the conservation of cheetahs in Iran and cloning of cheetahs in India.

A team comprising members from the ministry of environment and forests, Zoo Authority of India, Wildlife Institute of India and the CCMB were to leave for Iran. I had personally made this request to Iranian president Mohammad Khatami when he visited CCMB."

"However, the Iranian government just recently informed us that they will not loan India two cheetahs or allow us to travel to Iran for sample collection," he said, adding, "The letter asked us to contact Africa which is home to a lot more cheetahs."

CCMB, which has been working on this project for the past six years was also ready with a special lab near Nehru Zoological Park.

The lab which costed Rs 12 crores and was to be launched in August had facilities to develop test-tube baby methods, egg and sperm banks and cloning technology to preserve endangered species.

Scientists in CCMB were also being trained in nucleus transfer, using the same technique on rats, mice and rabbits.

© Iranian.ws

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PERSIAN JOURNAL - Iran & Iranian Latest News by  Iranian.ws, An Iranian Progressive CommunityPersian Journal is the news division of the more comprehensive Iranian.ws sites, a progressive Iranian online community and resource. Persian Journal is an online magazine of Iran's current events and Iranian culture featuring news, in-depth analysis and investigative reporting as well as opinions and commentary from a network of exclusive Iranian columnists and bloggers. It also features a very robust forum for discussion of news and current events. All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner The comments and submissions are property of their posters and their source. The Iranian.ws is not affiliated with political, religious or any other organization.


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