Australian scientists have cloned the world’s first cow using a new research method called serial nuclear transfer.

The Hostein-Friesian calf, named Brandy, created by scientists at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and the Genetics Australia Cooperative, was born just before last Christmas.

“Although there are extra steps involved in SNT, we believe it could improve efficiencies. A larger number of healthy offspring are produced from less cloned embryos,” said Vanessa Hall, head researcher at the Monash Institute of Medical Research.

“Other technical issues still exist but SNT may overcome placental problems and help unravel complex issues associated with the process of DNA reprogramming.”

In SNT, scientists fuse the nutrients in the fertilised egg, before placing it in the surrogate. This enhances re-modelling of the DNA, scientists say.

In the regular method, the single donor cell was merged with the egg with its DNA removed and implanted into the surrogate, but very few of the embryos survived.

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