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A Lab from the lab: Florida couple gets clone

A Boca Raton couple took delivery of their clone this week — a yellow Lab created in South Korea from the frozen DNA of their family dog Sir Lancelot.

Ed and Nina Otto named the new pup, born in Seoul ten weeks ago, Lancelot Encore.

The Ottos became the second American family, not counting those connected to the business, to receive a clone of their dog. You can find out more in our other cloning posts.

The Ottos paid $155,000 for the cloning, submitting a winning bid during an online auction conducted by a California biotech company, BioArts International. It’s one of two companies that began offering dog cloning to customers last year.

The original Lancelot died of cancer, at age 11, on New Year’s Eve, 2007. The Ottos had cryogenically banked DNA samples from Lancelot five years ago, hoping that some day they’d be able to clone him.

“The only sad thing about dogs is that they have such a short life, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could live your life with the same dog,” said Nina Otto, who reportedly sold part of her jewelry collection to finance the cloning.

”He was a human dog,” Ed Otto, 79, said of the original Lancelot. “He read your emotions. He knew when to be with you and when to leave you alone.” The Ottos live on 12 acres in Boca Raton, and have have nine dogs, four birds, ten cats, six sheep.

BioArts CEO Lou Hawthorne teamed with Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, a scientist with South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, to produce the dog. Hwang led an effort to clone the first dog, Snuppy, but later lost his job at Seoul National University after fraudulently claiming that he had cloned human embryos and stem cells.

To create Lancelot Encore, Woo-suk took an egg from a female dog, replaced its nucleus with Lancelot’s DNA, then implanted the egg in a second, surrogate dog.

Lancelot Encore was born two months later, at 1.3 pounds. Now a hefty, boisterous 17 pounder, he lavished licks on the Ottos Monday night.

A story, videos and photos can be found in the Miami Herald.