Scientists announce fluorescent dog clones
All named “Ruppy” — a combination of the words “ruby” and “puppy” — the dogs are pups no more, as you can see in a photo I took in February during my visit to Seoul National University, where Snuppy, the world’s first dog clone, was born in 2005.
Seoul National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, head of the research team, says they are the world’s first transgenic cloned dogs.
The fluorescence serves no purpose — other than letting the scientists know that the modified genes they inserted during the cloning process were successfully transferred.
“What’s significant in this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into them,” Lee told the Associated Press Tuesday.
Successfully cloning dogs with flourescent genes paves the way to implanting disease-related genes into dogs, which will allow scientists to study and develop cures for human diseases.
The fluorescence is noticeable, even when the dogs aren’t under ultraviolet light. The Ruppy I met and photographed had pinkish skin around his nose, and pink claws.
Scientists in the U.S., Japan and in Europe have cloned fluorescent mice and pigs, but SNU’s achievement is the first time dogs with modified genes have been cloned successfully, Lee said.
He said his team took skin cells from a beagle, inserted fluorescent genes into them and put them into enucleated eggs cells from a surrogate mother dog. Those were implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother, a local mixed breed. Six cloned flourescent female beagles were born in December 2007, two of which died.
Lee said his team has already started to implant human disease-related genes during the cloning process, in hopes they will be able to discover treatments for genetic diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beagle, biotech, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, disease, dogs, fluorescent, glowing, human, lee byeong-chun, models, red, research, ruppy, science, seoul national university, snuppy, south korea, transgenic