Science News

Britain's first cloned dog

Tue, 15th Apr 2014

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dogHannah -   So, this week, it has been announced that a sausage dog has been cloned.  Thanks to a company called Sooam Biotech in Seoul.  So, there was a competition earlier in the year and Rebecca Smith who’s a caterer based in West London won the competition.  And so, she sent off some samples from her 12-year-old sausage dog, some skin cells from the pet and sent them over to Korea where they got a donor egg from another dog.  They took the DNA, the nucleus, out of this donor egg and then they added the DNA from Rebecca’s 12-year-old sausage dog’s ear skin cell, applied a mild electric shock, and then inserted this egg with the new DNA from the sausage dog into a surrogate mother.  And then the clone was produced.  It was announced this week.

Chris -   What was the price tag?

Hannah -   So apparently, they're going to be trying to sell these cloned dogs for up to 60,000 British pounds to UK dog lovers and in fact, apparently, there's 500 dog owners from around the world that are lined up to pay this type of money in order to try and recreate a clone of their beloved pet.  Helen, you're shaking your head at wonder at this story.

Helen -   I get that we have pets and we love them and wouldn't it be nice for them not to pass away.  But this isn’t the same.  Come on people, this is crazy.

Hannah -   We’re talking earlier...

Chris -   Did they ask the lady why she paid 60,000 pounds for a clone of her pet?

Hannah -   Rebecca didn’t pay 60,000 pounds.  She won a competition, so she got it for free.  But I think it was kind of an advertisement to try and get more people to pay.

Chris -   Have they asked in making a report – other people to see they must think there's a market for it.  So, who’s willing to part with that kind of money for a clone?

Hannah -   People do, especially the British population, we’re known for loving our pets, but there's a big difference here between a cat or a dog that you love has a particular personality,  many people will argue. And you get very attached to that particular pet, but a clone isn’t going to have the same personality generally speaking.  You know, genetically, it might be the same, or almost the same. But the environment can affect the dog and also, the dog, the puppy is going to be in quarantine in Korea for the first 6 months because of UK legislation before it’s brought into the UK.  So therefore, the first 6 months is going to be in Korea and it’s probably not going to have the same upbringing as the puppy that you adore.

Chris -   Clone you may get identical behaving in dog you may not get.

Hannah -   Yeah.

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