Scientists at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Srinagar have cloned a rare breed of goat, known for its silky soft undercoats used to make pashmiana wool. The goat named ‘Noori’ was developed by a team of scientists led by Dr. Riaz Ahmad Shah of the Centre of Animal Biotechnology at the University.
Dr. Shah incidentally, was among the team of scientists, who developed the first cloned buffalo calf at the National Dairy Research Institute at Karnal in Haryana. Shah and his team used a relatively new “handmade” cloning technique involving only a microscope and a steady hand, instead of the conventional high-tech machinery.
“It took two years for standardization of the advanced reproductive technique,” Shah said. “This is the cheapest, easier and less time-consuming.” The healthy female kid was born on March 9 using a foster mother.
Dr. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Head of the Centre of Animal Biotechnology said, the success of the technology will open up new vistas in strategic and applied research in the region. Ganai said, they have started work on cloning more goats from amongst the university’s livestock. He hopes the technique could help the scientists clone several critically endangered animals in the region, like Kashmir stag or hangul.