11 May 1999
Cloned animals prone to fatal defects

SCIENTISTS have begun to uncover evidence that cloned animals are subject to high rates of mortality and abnormality, reports The Times.

Researchers working at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Centre, working on producing sheep and cows, say that half of all cloned foetuses develop serious, often fatal, traits.

A study of 13 cloned calves at the University of Massachusetts found that four foetuses died in the last stages of pregnancy, one calf at birth and two others soon after.

Most of the animals were found to have severely abnormal lungs as well as enlarged hearts with thin walls.