A couple in the UK is cloning their dead dog, the Guardian reports. The couple, Laura Jacques and Richard Remde lost their pet boxer to brain cancer in June, and turned to the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, which offers cloning services for $100,000. They are the first in the UK to purchase the company's services, though another woman won a contest to have her dachshund, Winnie, cloned.
Sooam obtained samples from Dylan, the dog, 12 days after he died. DNA from Dylan was then implanted into a nucleus-less dog egg that was shocked to induce cell division and implanted into a surrogate. Jacques and Remde are expecting two puppies within the next few days. The dogs, the Guardian notes, will likely resemble Dylan and may share some of his personality traits.
"This is the first case we have had where cells have been taken from a dead dog after a very long time," Sooam's David Kim tells the Guardian. "Hopefully it will allow us to extend the time after death that we can take cells for cloning."
Sooam, based in South Korea, is also home to the disgraced researcher Hwang Woo-suk. Hwang claimed to have cloned human embryos, but his work was found to be fraudulent. Hwang has also worked on cloning animals, and no evidence of misconduct has been uncovered in those cases.