Cloning has never been short of ethical and legal controversies, but that isn’t stopping the Chinese manufacturing juggernaut to make the largest cloning facility in the world. They have been perfecting the genetic editing techniques for some time, and now it seems there is no stopping the construction of their largest facility that is set to start operation by the mid of 2016. But, before you start the Made-in-China jokes, here are some of the facts that surround the development of the new factory.
The 500-million $ facility has been brought to reality to produce racehorses, sniffer dogs and cattle to provide food for the billion-plus population of China and its various challenges. It is an entirely government-funded project that will focus mainly on the production of cattle embryos for mass production.
Do you know that identical twins are essentially clones of each other, but since their growth rate and pattern is all natural, they tend to have different personalities. The laboratory-grown clones on the other hand are very fragile and mimicking nature to make healthy clones has been one of the challenges in Genetic Engineering. The CEO of the state company planning to make these cloned cows says that the cloning technology has reached the level where clones can be made, and the beef he had was the tastiest one he ever had. Tasty, fine, but what about healthy? I don’t think so, sir!
Cloning endangered species and specific breeds of any living thing is also one of the agendas of the new facility. However, the critics of the project say that due to lack of cost-effectiveness, the model may not be able to produce meat at current rates. However, due to the current global population increase, it is inevitable that food prices will increase in the coming years, and cloning will get cheaper. So, it will hit the break-even level soon, and when that time comes, China is expected to be the global leader in cloned cattle production.