February 19, 2009

South Korean Biotech Company To Mate Cloned Wolves

A South Korean cloning expert has announced that one of the world's first cloned wolves will mate with another clone to test their reproductive ability in an unprecedented experiment, the AFP reported.

Seoul National University researcher Lee Byeong-Chun said Snuwolffy, born in October 2005, will pair with Minguk, a male clone born in August 2006.

Lee said the experiment is aimed at verifying the cloned wolves' reproductive ability.

In 2005, Lee and his team were credited with creating the world's first cloned dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy. Last year, his team celebrated the world's first successful breeding of cloned canines.

The researchers also successfully cloned Snuwolffy (Seoul National University wolffy) and another female wolf in 2005 and two male wolves the following year.

Lee said they hope to find out if the cloned wolves can also breed like the cloned dogs.

The cloned male will eventually be brought to the Seoul Grand Park zoo in April, where Snuwolffy currently lives.

"Following a period of familiarization, they will be put together in one cage early next year for mating," Lee said.

Lee was a key aide to disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were reported as falsified.

Independent tests, however, later proved the team's dog cloning was genuine.


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