Monday, November 6, 2000
At the WisconsinWorld Dairy Expo in October, a yet unborn calf cloned by Infigen Inc. and owned by a farmer was auctioned off for $82,000. Infigen cloned its first calf, "Gene" the bull, in 1997, shortly after PPL Inc. announced "Dolly", the first cloned sheep. Since then, Infigen has developed a herd of more than 100 cloned cows, using its method of post-nuclear transfer parthogenic oocyte activation.
A good milk cow can produce upwards of 20 liters of milk each day, making it a large-scale protein production system that Infigen wants to harness. The proteins that Infigen is considering for production in this system are complex, requiring specific post-translational processing that bacterial systems cannot provide. To this end, the company is working to produce the first genetically modified, cloned cows.