Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Say Hello to Snuppy...

A MAN'S best friend has joined the long list of animals that have been cloned in the laboratory.
But the scientists behind the world's first cloned dog have warned that the procedure is too dangerous to create carbon copies of favourite pets.


Snuppy, short for Seoul National University puppy, initially stirred admiration among scientists as dogs are among the trickiest of animals to clone.
The dog, grown from a single cell taken from the ear of a 3-y
ear-old male Afghan, marks a milestone in the race to fabricate genetically identical dogs for research and as companion animals.

Since the anouncement of Dolly the sheep in 1997 scientists have cloned many different species, including mice, rats, cows, pigs, rabbits, cats, a mule, horses and a gaur - an endangered ox.

However, despite several attempts, a cloned dog has proved elusive because of the difficulty of maturing canine eggs in the artificial surroundings of a cloning laboratory.

Snuppy was born in April and was one of two cloned dog embryos to be delivered alive. The second, born in May, died of pneumonia three weeks after birth.

However, in total the scientists created 1,095 cloned embryos and implanted all them into the wombs of 123 canine surrogates.

Yet only three pregnancies were confirmed, one of which ended in a miscarriage.

Professor Ian Wilmut of Edinburgh University, who cloned Dolly the sheep, said that Professor Hwang seems to have successfully overcome the technical problems of cloning dogs by using a source of high-quality eggs.

washingtonpost.com
abc.net.
independent.ie

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