Copy cat: Chinese firm creates first cloned kitten

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Above, China’s first cloned kitten Garlic with a carer at the pet-cloning outfit Sinogene. (AFP)
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China’s first cloned kitten Garlic, left, with its surrogate mother at the pet-cloning outfit Sinogene. (AFP)
Updated 05 September 2019
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Copy cat: Chinese firm creates first cloned kitten

  • Garlic was created by Chinese firm Sinogene, the Beijing-based company’s first successfully copied cat
  • Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but approved in countries including South Korea and the US

BEIJING: Seven months after Huang Yu’s pet cat Garlic died, the British shorthair was given a 10th life.
Born on July 21, the new Garlic was created by Chinese firm Sinogene, becoming the Beijing-based company’s first successfully copied cat.
The pet-cloning outfit has made more than 40 pet dogs — a procedure that costs a hefty 380,000 yuan ($53,000), while the price for a cat comes in at 250,000 yuan ($35,000).
Mi Jidong, the company’s chief executive officer, said that despite the high price tag, not all clients were high earners.
“In fact, a large proportion of customers are young people who have only graduated in the last few years,” he said.
“Whatever the origin of pets, owners will see them as part of the family. Pet cloning meets the emotional needs of young generations.”
Huang, 23, was overjoyed on first seeing Garlic’s second incarnation, saying the “similarity between the two cats is more than 90 percent.”

“When Garlic died, I was very sad,” said Huang. “I couldn’t face the facts because it was a sudden death. I blame myself for not taking him to the hospital in time, which led to his death.”
The happy owner says he hopes the personality of the new Garlic is as similar to his old white-and-grey cat as its appearance.
With a growing pet market in China, and a huge appetite among their owners for spending, Mi thinks the market for pet cloning is also set to rocket.
According to a report by Pet Fair Asia and pet website Goumin.com, pet-related spending in China reached 170.8 billion yuan ($23.7 billion) in 2018.
And the country’s scientists have big aspirations for their next cloning challenge, working on the theory that if cats can be cloned, so can pandas.
Chen Dayuan — an expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who has been researching giant panda cloning for 20 years — said there could even be scope for cats to give birth to cloned baby pandas, which are smaller than baby cats despite their large size when fully grown.
Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but approved in countries including South Korea and the US, where singer Barbra Streisand announced last year she had cloned her dog.
The first major success in animal cloning was Dolly the sheep, born in Britain in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
In 2005, researchers in South Korea cloned the first dog. The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul says it has cloned some 800 pets and charges $100,000 each.


Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

Updated 18 September 2019

Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

  • Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media

CAIRO: Magi Sadeq, 25, is known for keeping a low profile in the media compared to the wives of other footballers. 

The wife of Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has become something of a celebrity in her own right after appearing with her husband while maintaining a conservative look.

Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media, but sometimes there is no escaping the spotlight for his wife and daughter.

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award. She also appeared with their daughter Makka during celebrations marking Salah’s winning of the Premier League Golden Boot award, and after Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Sadeq was born and raised in Nagrig, a village in Gharbia where Salah was also born. It is the same place where they like to spend their holidays and special occasions whenever they have the chance.

FASTFACT

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award.

She has a twin sister, Mohab, and two other sisters, Mahy and Miram. Their parents were both teachers at Mohamed Eyad Al-Tantawi School, where she met the future Egyptian international.

Sadeq, who maintains a simple lifestyle, fell in love with Salah 10 years before they married. Their love story was the talk of the town where they lived.

They were married in 2013 as the player started taking his first steps in Europe with Swiss football club Basel. They married when he returned home for his first holiday.  

She keeps her husband connected to his rural roots. She doesn’t have any social media accounts, and unlike other footballer’s wives, she is not interested in appearance and makeup. She prefers to wear body-covering conservative clothes.

Sadeq and her twin sister both obtained their degrees in biotechnology from Alexandria University. She is responsible for her husband’s charity work in Egypt. Her neighbors say that she helps in buying the necessary home appliances and other needs of newly married couples. She also supervises charity work and regularly attends the special events staged by her village even though she has been made busier after her husband joined Liverpool.

Salah once said of his wife: “I am unfair to Magi as I give her the least of my time due to the nature of my work. I would like to thank her for her support and for being in my life.”