Scientists at Seoul National University, led by the embryonic stem cell research scientist Hwang Woo-suk has produced the worlds first cloned dog, Snuppy.
The puppy, an Afghan hound, was made from a cell taken from the ear of a three-year-old male Afghan hound and the cell was then fused with the egg cell of a female dog, whose DNA had been removed. The female dog acted as a host for the embryo.
Researchers have since cloned cats, goats, cows, mice, pigs, rabbits, horses, deer, mules and gaur, a large wild ox of Southeast Asia. So far, efforts to clone a monkey or another primate with the same techniques have failed.
Snuppy joins lots of other cloned animals including Dolly the sheep, CC the cat and Ralph the rat.
The cloned puppy was the lone success from more than 100 dogs implanted with more than 1,000 cloned embryos.
Scientists hope to use dog clones to help understand and cure some dog diseases - research which, they hope will help cure human diseases too.
Scientists had doubts about Snuppy’s authenticity after it became clear Hwang’s team falsified research claiming to have cloned a human embryo and patient-specific embryonic stem cells.