World’s First Cloned Dog Will Participate in First Breeding of Cloned Dogs

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

World’s First Cloned Dog Will Participate in First Breeding of Cloned Dogs

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 25
, 2008

Seoul, South Korea ( — Next month, the world’s first cloned dog will become the first cloned canine to breed. Snuppy, the cloned Afghan hound created by some of the same researchers that participated in a controversy surrounding falsified embryonic stem cell research, will become a father.

Seoul National University officials said on Friday that semen from Snuppy was used to artificially inseminate two female dogs of the same breed.

The researchers say ultrasounds show the unborn dogs are healthy and they are expected to be born in mid-May.

Professor Lee Byung-Chun told the Korea Times, "The second generation of cloned animals used to be malformed but we have not found any abnormal aspects about the fetuses so far."

While the SNU scientists are excited about their work, SNU administrators told Reuters they violated school rules by talking with the media prior to publishing their work.

"This is a breach of school regulations against releasing experiment results to the press before completing relevant academic papers," Kook Yang, the research department head, said.

Because of the faked embryonic stem cell research involving Hwang Woo-Suk, the university cracked down on scientists and put new rules in place for discussing studies with the media.

Kook told Reuters the college would discipline Lee, who was a former colleague of Hwang’s.

In December 2006, Lee said he had cloned the world’s first cloned female dog, another Afghan hound he named Bona.

The team submitted a paper about the cloning to the international veterinary journal Theriogenology.

Lee said Bona was born using animal cloning technology and said two other female dogs, named Peace and Hope, were cloned as well. He said DNA tests prove they are all authentic clones.

Lee said he used the same animal cloning technology Hwang’s team used to create Snuppy, the first cloned dog, but perfected the process.

To create Snuppy, Hwang’s team killed a total of 1,095 reconstructed dog embryos and transferred them into 123 surrogates, yielding only Snuppy and another dog that died 22 days after birth.

With the female, Lee’s team killed 167 dog embryos and transferred them into 12 surrogate mothers to produce the three cloned dogs.

Pro-life advocates say the destruction of hundreds of dog embryos points to the killing of human beings that would take place if scientists try to clone human beings.

Lee was suspended from SNU for three months following the embryonic stem cell research controversy.