SKorea firm gets order to clone pet dog: report - Yahoo! News
A South Korean firm has received an order for the world's first commercial cloning of a pet dog -- a request from a US woman to re-create her beloved former pitbull, a report said Friday.
RNL Bio is charging 150,000 dollars to clone a pitbull terrier for the California woman using tissue from her dead pet named Booger, the Korea Times said.
It said the actual cloning will be conducted by Seoul National University while RNL Bio looks after the business side. Its CEO expects up to 500 orders within a few years from rich pet lovers in the United States and elsewhere.
"There are many people who want to clone their pet dogs in Western countries even at this high price," the CEO, Ra Jeong-Chan, was quoted as saying.
He said Booger's owner had refrigerated its ear tissue. Cells were extracted from this and inserted into ova which were then implanted into eight bitches.
"It seems that she had a disability and her dog helped her cope with the problem, so she was eager to get a clone of Booger," Ra was quoted as saying.
A Seoul National University (SNU) team created the world's first cloned dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy, on a non-commercial basis in 2005.
But the feat was underestimated because of the team's links to a disgraced stem cell scientist, Hwang Woo-Suk.
Hwang, once hailed as a national hero before a university inquiry ruled that part of his work was fake, is on trial for embezzlement and fake research.
The government has banned Hwang from research using human eggs after his claims that he created the first human stem cells through cloning were ruled bogus in January 2006.
SNU researchers last summer signed an initial deal with the customs service to clone drug-sniffing dogs.