Iranian biosciences aren?t exactly top of the news agenda these days, so I was interested to linkurl:read;,,1839217,00.html this week that researchers at Tehran?s linkurl:Royan Institute; have "succeeded" in producing what is apparently the Middle East's first cloned sheep. The sheep died minutes after it was delivered at the institute, which specializes in fertility issues (Royan meaning Embryo in Persian). Still, it was hailed as a landmark achievement after months of unsuccessful cloning attempts also involving cows and mice. Iran's cloning program reportedly has the blessing of the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as is its research into embryonic stem cells, which has been going on since 2002. In the __Guardian__ article I read, Reza Samani, the Royan Institute's public affairs officer, said: "We are not yet satisfied with our efforts. We will continue until we produce a clone that survives. We tried with a cow and the process was...

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