Animal cloning is rapidly becoming more successful, with some scientists working hard to bring back extinct species such as the woolly mammoth. Until recently, animal clones were carefully created by humans, but Chinese-made pig clones are proving that robotic automation is now viable as well.
Robot-made pig clones
Via South China Morning Post, researchers in Tianjin claim to have successfully made the first pig clones without human assistance. The entirety of the coming process is said to be done entirely through robots for the first time ever.
Conducted at the College of Artificial Intelligence at Nankai University, the experiment resulted in the birth of “seven cloned piglets”.
One scientist on the team, Liu Yaowei, explained that: “Each step of the cloning process was automated, and no human operation was involved.”
Additionally, Yaowei claims that robotic cloning is more successful than cloning done by humans. As the cloning process is very intricate, human cloners are more likely to damage precious cells whereas robots cancan clone without issue.
“Our AI-powered system can calculate the strain within a cell and direct the robot to use minimal force to complete the cloning process,” he said. [This] reduces the cell damage caused by human hands.”
Why is China cloning pigs?
As the world’s largest consumer of pork, China often has to result to expensive meat importing to keep up with demand. However, with the use of cloning, supply can be larger than ever.
It’s important to state that pig clones are not the same as lab grown meat. The cloning process results in a perfect replication of a full animal whereas lab grown meat relies on cultivated cells that create edible, not-sentient meat.
Yaowei believes that pig cloning will help China become more self-sufficient. With enough resources at hand, the country would be able go rely less on external forces.