Snuppy The Clone
Those damned Koreans are at it again;
Like Dolly and other predecessors, Snuppy was created using a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.
Scientists transfer genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult cell to an egg whose nucleus – with its genetic material – has been removed. The reconstructed egg holding the DNA from the donor cell is treated with chemicals or electric current to stimulate cell division.
Once the cloned embryo reaches a suitable stage, it is transferred to the uterus of a surrogate where it continues to develop until birth.
Dog eggs are problematic because they are released from the ovary earlier than in other mammals. This time, the researchers waited and collected more mature unfertilized eggs from the donors’ fallopian tubes.
They used DNA from skin cells taken from the ear of a 3-year-old male Afghan hound to replace the nucleus of the eggs. Of the three pregnancies that resulted, there was one miscarried fetus and one puppy that died of pneumonia 22 days after birth.
Schatten said the Afghan hound’s genetic profile is relatively pure and easy to distinguish compared to dogs with more muddled backgrounds. But dog experts said the researchers’ choice of breed choice was disquieting.
“The Afghan hound is not a particularly intelligent dog, but it is beautiful,” said psychologist Stanley Coren, author of the best-selling manual “The Intelligence of Dogs.” He ranked the Afghan hound last among 119 breeds in temperament and trainability.
“Many people who opt for the cloning technique are more interested in fashionable looks,” he said. “Whenever we breed dogs for looks and ignore behavior, we have suffered.”
(Dog breeder’s aside; Why does the reporter inject the meaningless prattle from faux-expert Stanley Coren (who is to the world of canine science what Oprah Winfrey is to the study of subatomic particles) into this story? His ignorance is underscored by the very quotes they provide.)