Like the polymerase chain reaction, the power of cloning actually may reside in its ability to improve the efficiency of processes already used by animal breeders and laboratories. When ABS Global Inc. (DeForest, Wis.) unveiled its cloned calf last week, it demonstrated for the first time that cloning could work in a cow. The company also introduced innovations into its procedure that could prove less costly, less time consuming and less wasteful of animal embryos than has been possible in the fields of animal breeding and transgenic animal production.

ABS has been developing its cloning technique for 10 years. Using the optimized process in its current form, one cloning attempt in 18 resulted in a bull calf named Gene. The technology differs in several ways from that used by the Roslin Institute in Scotland, which in February announced its cloning of a sheep (see BioCentury, Feb. 24). Although direct comparisons are difficult, one in 227 cells cloned by the Roslin scientists resulted in the birth of