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Chinese scientists have successfully cloned a cow "with gene cells resistant to mad cow disease", reports Xinhua news agency via Reuters. The 55kg calf, born in the eastern province of Shandong, was cloned from cells of an adult cow and carries transplanted genetic material conferring the resistance to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Professors Dong Yajuan and Bo Xuejin of Shandong's Laiyang Agro-Science Institute collaborated with a Japanese university on the project. The new arrival is another breakthrough for the pair - back in 2001 they produced China's first cloned cow.

Chinese state television does, however, sound a note of warning with the statement that "further tests would be required on the calf as it grows to verify the effectiveness of the transplanted genes". ®

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