A few hours after Javier Milei’s electoral victory, everything indicates that the president of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) during his administration will be the veterinarian, CONICET researcher and director of the Animal Biotechnology Laboratory of the UBA. Daniel Salamone, the greatest cloning expert in Argentina.
Salamone was born on May 21, 1960 in María Grande, Entre Ríos, a town of three thousand inhabitants, but he only lived there until he was five years old since he then moved to the city of Buenos Aires with his parents. After graduating from the UBA, he completed postgraduate studies in Canada, the United States and Japan. He was a researcher at INTA Castelar and over time it became the country’s leading specialist in animal cloning for different purposes.
At INTA, Salamone manipulated embryos in vitro, aspirated the eggs from dead cows and fertilized them in the laboratory. “It seemed incredible to me to have all the genetics of an animal packed into a tenth of a millimeter“, he said about that stage in a note from Clarín.
In 1996, when the world was shocked by the birth of Dolly the sheep – the first cloned mammal in history – Salamone had already finished his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, United States, and was working on his first genetically modified cows. Over time, she would manage to eliminate the “mad cow” gene, which produces a neurodegenerative disease that can be transmitted to humans. His objective was to create a “pharmaceutical dairy”: cloned cows whose milk is used as medicine.
Salamone’s research is the seed of the cloned horses of polo player Adolfo Cambiaso, for example. But Its most important contribution is the cloning and gene editing of animals with the aim of saving human lives.. Cows that give formula milk and pigs whose skin and organs can be transplanted to humans without being rejected by the body.
In his career, Salamone gave more than 140 lectures on cloning and animal genetics in countries such as Japan, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, France and Thailand. For her research, she received the Konex Prize for Science and Technology, the Pérez Companc prize, the INNOVAR prize for applied research on three occasions and the major INNOVAR prize.
According to the article published by this medium, to design his pigs, Salamone looked beyond public funds. With a first investment from the University of Buenos Aires, he joined an international business accelerator called GridX, which aims to “transform scientific ideas into impressive startups,” as detailed on its website. Salamone and his partner Rafael Fernández Martín designed the startup – as emerging companies with great projection are called – New Organs Biotech SA, with which they manufacture “humanized pig organs”, a project for which they have already received more than three hundred thousand dollars .
On September 22 Javier Milei declared in a radio interview that if he won the presidency he would appoint Daniel Salamone as director of CONICET. A few days before he had assured that he would eliminate the organism outright, but he reversed himself and defined Salamone as “the national cloner.”
“We are already preparing an agreement with China to clone dogs and a company to clone horses in Uruguay. Pig organs. It is important that science is profitable. And all of this is born from a cloned cell. A cell that today we can also reprogram and tell it “now you are not just skin, you are an embryo”. We have a black box in our hands. And we still have to discover what is inside,” says the researcher.
The post first appeared on www.clarin.com