The Seoul National University research team led by Dr. Hwang Woo-suk has successfully cloned an Afghan hound, a pet dog breed.
Now owners can have their lovely pet dogs cloned after death if some body cells of the dogs are obtained. So the success is likely to draw much attention from many pet owners.
In the U.S., some have already made attempts to use the technology commercially to clone pet dogs.
In 1998, an Arizonan businessman named John Sperling donated 4.5 billion won to Texas A&M University and asked the researchers at the school to clone his pet dog Missy. That prompted a project called Missy Project.
As the story became known, others began calling for the same thing. And in 2000, the research team established Genetic Savings & Clone (GSC), a venture firm, in California and entered the business. But GSC failed to create Missys clone until 2002 when Missy died.
In December last year and in February this year, the company succeeded in producing two cat clones. It cost $50,000 (about 60 million won) per clone. Now the cost is down to $32,000.
Dr. Hwangs team made it clear that the cloning research of dogs is strictly aimed at discovering cures for human diseases. Still, anyone can easily realize that the technology, if deployed commercially, could earn great fortune.