Lancelot Encore, cloned in South Korea in an American company’s online dog cloning auction three years ago, is the father of eight pups, born on the 4th of July to another Labrador who was artificially inseminated with his sperm.
And they are for sale, at a price yet to be announced. (AKC registration is not a possibility because the organization doesn’t recognize clones as purebreds.)
Lancelot Encore’s owners, Ed and Nina Otto, have set up a website called labraclone.com which offers “future pups from the past” and will be used to sell seven of the puppies.
The Florida couple bid $155,000 to get the original Lancelot, who died of cancer, cloned in an online auction held by BioArts, an American company that attempted to clone the world’s first dog, then partnered with one of the South Korean scientists who was the first to pull the feat off.
Not long after Lancelot Encore settled in their home, with their nine other pets, the Ottos began thinking about breeding him.
Mrs. Otto said they paid several thousand dollars for a lab to inseminate a female Labrador, named Scarlett, with Lancelot Encore’s sperm.
Nina Otto said she was “tickled pink” that the babies had arrived naturally, the SunSentinel.com reported.
“I am keeping one and we are hoping to find good homes for all the other puppies,” she said.
Given the litter’s birthdate, the Ottos gave all eight pups patriotic names: Glory, Liberty, Star, Allegiance, America, Patriot, Independence and Victory.
While some news outlets, The Daily Mail in London included, call Lancelot the first dog to be commercially cloned (so do the Ottos), he’s not. Lancelot Encore is the first single birth commercial clone. The first canine clones delivered to a paying customer were five pups manufactured from the cells of a dead pit bull named Booger, by another South Korean company.
The full story of dog cloning can be found in the book, “DOG, INC.: How a Collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry.”
You can read an excerpt here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artificial insemination, biology, biotech, canine, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, commercial, dog, dog cloning book, dog inc., dogs, ed otto, fathers, florida, industry, john woestendiek, labraclone, labrador, lancelot, lancelot encore, natural, nina otto, pets, puppies, pups, selling, sires, website
The dogs are members of “EcoDogs,” a three-year-old collaboration at Alabama’s Auburn University between the science departments and the school’s Canine Detection Research Institute, which trains dogs to detect explosives.
Environmentalists fear the non-native pythons are upsetting the ecological balance of South Florida. Their spread is generally attributed to irresponsible pet owners dumping their snakes and 1992′s Hurricane Andrew, which destroyed an adjacent exotic snake warehouse.
Now they’ve adapted to the Everglades, and park officials say there’s no way of eradicating them. Instead, with help from dogs, they hope to keep them from further spreading.
In a trial run, the dogs showed they can cover a search area 2.5 times faster than a person.
“People can only see that the snake is there if they can see the snake. The dogs can smell the snake even if it’s not visually apparent to us,” said Christina Romagosa, a biologist at Auburn.
Two black Labrador retrievers from EcoDogs, Ivy and Jake, were sent to the 2,358-square-mile park in 2010 and demonstrated their skills to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a Reuters report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Todd Steury, an Auburn conservation biologist and co-founder of the project, said training a new dog to detect a scent takes six to 10 weeks. Training for each additional scent, he said, takes “about 10 minutes. You can do it by accident if you’re not careful.”
In controlled experiments, the EcoDogs success rate in finding pythons at the park was 75-92 percent, Romagosa said. The dogs helped researchers trap 19 pythons, including a pregnant snake with 19 eggs, according to an EcoDog report.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, auburn university, biology, bomb, burmese pythons, canine detection, conservation, detecting, detection, dogs, ecodogs, ecology, environment, everglades, everglades national park, florida, pets, pythons, research institute, scent, snakes, sniffing, training
The scientist behind the study, biology professor Ronald Oldfield, hopes his findings benefit the 182.9 million ornamental fishes in the United States. (Animal welfare proponents, he notes, often overlook our underwater friends.)
But, beyond that, the findings of his study could apply to other species as well.
Oldfield, according to a university press release, is the first to scientifically study how the environment of home aquariums affects the aggressive behavior of ornamental fishes. The results are published in the online edition of Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
Oldfield compared the behavior of Midas cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus) in a variety of environments: within their native range in a crater lake in Nicaragua, in a large artificial stream in a zoo, and in small tanks of the sizes typically used to by pet owners.
The study focused on juvenile fish, so that aggressive behavior related to mating would not be a factor. Also, resources such as food and shelter were removed prior to observation to eliminate direct competition for those.
Along with environment size, Oldfield tested the complexity of an environment and the effects of number of fish within tanks.
The addition of obstacles and hiding places using rocks, plants, or other similar objects can increase the complexity of the aquarium environment. He found that an increase in tank size and complexity can reduce harmful aggressive behaviors, and make for healthier fish at home.
The aggressive behavior he monitored included flaring fins, bites, chasing or charging at another fish.
In environments sufficiently large and complex, fish spent less time exhibiting aggressive behavior. And a more natural environment elicits more natural behaviors, Oldfield said. “This study might help us to better understand how human behavior changes when people are placed in different social environments,” he said.
Among the species that could benefit from Oldfield’s findings, it seems to me, are America’s 2.3 million prisoners (prisonus inmatus) and others held in what are often stark, impersonal institutions that lack visual stimuli, mental challenges, or for that matter tiny treasure chests, mermaids and sunken ships.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agression, animals, aquairums, behavior, biology, case western reserve university, connection, environment, fish, learn, research, ronald oldfield, science, species, study, surroundings, violence, welfare
Holy Formaldehyde! Times are changing. As of this fall, thousands of Catholic school students in the Philadelphia area can opt out of that once mandatory, highly stinky rite of passage — dissecting a frog in biology class.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has established a policy under which students in its 20 high schools who have concerns about traditional animal dissection are allowed to use alternatives to frogs, cats and other actual animals.
As an increasing number of high schools and universities are realizing, there are plenty of options to cutting up an animal, and students can learn just as much about biology through models and computer graphics.
“As the 21st century evolves, greater use of virtual dissection experiences will be encouraged and eventually replace the use of scientifically preserved animals,” said Mary E. Rochford, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “With the availability of virtual lab experiences and other Internet instructional tools, students can arrive at the same learning.”
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s policy is modeled after the Pennsylvania Students Rights Option, a law established in 1992, which enables public and non-public students from grades K-12 who do not want to harm animals as part of their coursework to use an alternative instead.
You can learn more about the Pennsylvania law here.
“The Archdiocese’s student choice policy can serve as a model for other schools in the state of Pennsylvania, in addition to other dioceses across the U.S,” said Laura Ducceschi, Director of Animalearn, a project of the American Anti-Vivisection Society.
Tens of thousands of cats, frogs, and other animals are killed annually, specifically for dissection and other educational purposes, despite available alternatives and studies showing that students learn as well or better by using virtual dissection and other humane alternatives, according to Animalearn.
Animalearn’s website offers a searchable database of over 450 alternatives to dissection, downloadable software, and other humane science tools. A free resource to students and teachers nationwide, The Science Bank offers interactive models, videos, and virtual dissection CD-ROMs and DVDs.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aavs, alternatives, animalearn, animals, anti-vivisection, archdiocese, biology, catholice, cats, choice, class, computer, dissect, dissection, education, free, frogs, graphics, high school, humane, models, options, philadelphia, schools, science, science bank, students, tools, virtual
Short, shaggy, smooth or wiry, nearly all the differences in dogs’ coat types result from variations in just three genes, according to newly published research.
Variations in the DNA in more than 1,000 dogs from 80 breeds were studied by the researchers, and compared to descriptions of various coat types, according to an Associated Press report.
The study, published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science, found that nearly all of the varieties of dog coats can be accounted for by combinations of genes called RSPO2, FGF5 and KRT71.
“What’s important for human health is the way we found the genes involved in dog coats and figured out how they work together, rather than the genes themselves,” said Dr. Elaine A. Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda.
“We think this approach will help pinpoint multiple genes involved in complex human conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” Ostrander, chief of the cancer genetics branch, said in a statement.
The findings apply to purebred dogs: “We don’t know enough about the genetics of mutts,” commented co-author K. Gordon Lark, a biology professor at the University of Utah.
Dogs are descended from wolves and, like wolves, short-haired dogs such as beagles had only the ancestral forms of the three genes, none with variations.
Dogs like President Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog have variations in all three genes, producing animals with curly hair plus a “mustache” and large eyebrows.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: biology, breeds, coated, coats, dna, dog, dogs, fur, genes, hair, long, national human genome research institute, research, science, shaggy, short, smooth, variations, wiry