Posted August. 04, 2005 03:13,
The research team of Professor Hwang Woo-suk of Seoul National University (SNU) has succeeded in cloning a dog for the first time in the world.
After February last year, and May this year, the research result is Hwangs teams third world-class research achievement in just several months, which is unprecedented in the scientific world.
On the morning of August 3 during a press conference held at the Veterinary Medicine College of SNU in Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Professor Hwang and his research team said that after two years and eight months of research starting August 2002, they produced a cloned dog and that it is doing well.
The research team named the dog Snuppy, combining the SNU and the English word puppy.
The research achievement was announced in the August 4 online version of British science magazine, Nature, and a picture of Snuppy was published on the cover of Nature.
Professor Hwang noted, A dog shares 65 types of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, with humans, which will make this achievement useful in the research of incurable diseases, and he added, If we conduct research involving stem cells acquired from a dogs cloned embryos in the future, it will greatly contribute to adopting human stem cells to incurable diseases.
Dogs have been considered as one of the most difficult animals to be cloned, along with monkeys because of its complex generative organs and the difficulty of getting eggs.
With the success of dog cloning, which has been a big obstacle, most types of important animals have been cloned.
Worldwide, a total of 12 kinds of animals have been cloned, including cattle, a horse, a pig, and a deer since the birth of the cloned sheep Dolly in 1996. Hwangs dog is the 13th cloned animal.
Professor Hwangs team removed a nucleus from a dogs egg and fused it with a somatic cell from a three-year-old male Afghan hound, a type of dog.
They then transplanted 1,095 cloned embryos into 123 surrogate mother dogs, and two dogs were born in April and May. However, a dog born in May died of pneumonia after 22 days.
This time, 10 members of a special animal cloning team from the SNUs Veterinary Medicine College, including professors Lee Byeong-cheon and Kang Seong-geun, and a professor Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh, participated in the research.
Professor Hwangs team has been introduced in the U.S.s science magazine Science, for its successes in the first-ever extraction of stem cell from human embryos in February last year, and in collecting stem cells from 11 patients cloned embryos.
On August 3 during his meeting for joint research with Hwangs team, Edinburgh Medical University medical professor Ian Wilmut, who created the cloned sheep Dolly, assessed in the research, saying, The research this time is an event marking the peak in animal cloning research.