To minimize the inevitable public disapproval it is crucial when creating a cloned mammal in your laboratory to make as little mention as possible of your previous failed attempts to do so, and to give your successful clone a cute name: “Dolly” the sheep, “Ralph” the rat, and now “Snuppy”, the Afghan puppy who thinks he’s a Labrador:
S Korea unveils first dog clone
Scientists in South Korea have produced the first dog clones, they report in Nature magazine this week.
One of the puppies died soon after birth but the other, an Afghan hound named Snuppy, is still doing well after 16 weeks, the researchers say.
Snuppy, whose name stands for Seoul National University puppy, was made from a cell taken from the ear of a three-year-old male Afghan hound.
Scientists took the genetic material from the ear cell and placed it into an empty egg cell. This egg was then stimulated to start dividing and develop into an embryo.
Once growing, it was transferred to Snuppy’s surrogate mother, a yellow labrador. The Afghan pup was born by caesarean section after a full 60 days of pregnancy.
Although many other animals have been successfully cloned, dogs are notoriously difficult: the South Korean team only obtained three pregnancies from more than 1,000 embryo transfers into 123 recipients.
Two of the pregnancies are accounted for, but the article completely omits any reference to “Snupzilla”, the 30-storey killer Afghan hound currently terrorising downtown Seoul. Let’s hope that the University of East London’s work on “Tyson-Ra”, their giant cloned Pit Bull Terrier, is completed in time to save the rest of the country from destruction.