A South Korean lab that produced the world’s first clone dog is trying to get into the business of cloning canines. They will begin by first cloning drug-sniffing dogs.
The laboratory at Seoul National University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Customs Service to clone drug-sniffing dogs. The government funded lab is focused on cloning animals that provide services to humans such as guide dogs or dogs that help in law enforcement agencies.
The team has already obtained somatic cells from drug-sniffing dogs to start cloning them this month or in August. At the earliest, the puppies could be obtained by late this year.
The researcher who heads the cloning project said that there could be a possibility that they make look into cloning pets. But, at this time, there isn’t enough of a demand for it. It also is estimated that it would cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 to clone a pet dog.
Dogs are considered one of the most difficult mammals to clone because of their unpredictable reproductive cycle as well as difficulties in inducing ovulation and fertilizing eggs in the lab.
The team did produce the world’s first cloned dog in 2005, the Afghan hound “Snuppy,” which has been verified by independent testing. It has gone on to produce other cloned dogs and has cloned Korean gray wolves, an endangered species.