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US foal conceived in lab

(Jul 15) A filly foal in Colorado, named Sweet Pea, represents a milestone for equine fertility research that could profit horse breeders who have infertile or highly valuable horses, scientists say.

The foal is the first horse conceived in a laboratory using an egg taken from a live mare and implanted into a surrogate mare.

Two years ago, scientists at Colorado State University doing similar research helped a surrogate mare deliver a foal conceived in a laboratory, but egg cells taken from ovaries at a slaughterhouse, not from a live mare, were used.

Sweet Pea was foaled June 23, weighing 61 pounds.

The importance of the LSU advance centres on using a live donor mare to collect eggs in a nonsurgical procedure.

Breeders can use the procedure to produce offspring from valuable mares without risking injury, if a mare is infertile, if a stallion has a low sperm count, or if a breeder wants to get more than one offspring per year from the mare.



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