A team of researchers from the School of Artificial Intelligence at Nankai University in China has developed a fully automated method for creating pig clones. For the first time, seven cloned piglets were born to a surrogate mother in March without any human intervention using the same method.
China is currently the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world. The number of pigs in the country stands at More than 400 millionAnd the Pork consumption ranges between 30 and 35 kg per person. A large share of the meat eaten in China is pork, and the available stock in the country is never enough to meet the demand. This is why China imports millions of tons of expensive pork every year. Even in 2021, the country Purchased 3.31 million metric tons of pork.
Liu Yaowei, a researcher at Nankai University, believes that an AI-powered robotic pig cloning method could greatly increase the pig population in China and make the country completely self-sufficient in pork production.
Robotic pig cloning is a better alternative
An important fact is that pork from cloned pigs differs from meat grown in a laboratory because the latter is developed from cultured cells prepared under laboratory conditions. In contrast, the former are produced from the cells of a native pig. Interestingly, the cells of the clones can also be used to produce laboratory meat as well. The methods currently used for animal cloning or pig cloning require human participation at various stages.
This increases the risk of error during cloning and has several other complications. For example, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a common technique of animal cloning, requires a human to remove the nucleus from the animal’s egg cell so that a somatic cell (capable of producing any tissue to facilitate cloning) can lay. place. During the procedure, sensitive cells are often damaged or contaminated due to human intervention.
Chinese agricultural scientist Pan Dengqi, Known for inventing the method For pig clones using robots, thousands of pig clones have been previously generated using SCNT. Due to the hardships and physical difficulties he faced during the process, Dengke ended up suffering from severe back pain. He believes that a new automated method based on artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the pig cloning sector.
The Nankai University team also cloned pigs using robots in 2017, but the process required effort from human contributors. Researcher Yaowei suggests that compared to human-operated pig cloning, the success rate of robotic pig cloning is much higher with robots. They do not make any mistakes or damage the cells during the process.
So this time, they evolved Fully automated cloning process which did not involve any human operations. Further explaining the efficiency of the AI pig cloning method, Yaowei said: “Our AI-supported system can calculate the pressure inside the cell and instruct the robot to use the least force to complete the cloning process, reducing cell damage caused by human hands.”
Moreover, since the automated process does not require any human intervention, it saves researchers the physical hardships that they encountered during traditional cloning methods. No study has been released covering the details of the AI-based cloning technology. However, the researchers claim that successful implementation of their approach could help increase pork production in China and enhance animal cloning strategies used worldwide.
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