Nearly two decades ago, when a sheep was cloned (the process of producing two genetically identical individuals), there was optimism that one day human species could be cloned too. That day has not arrived yet, but for dog lovers, the wait is over. According to NPR, Soaam Biotech, a lab near Seoul in South Korea is one-of-a-kind in the world which has been successful in creating a breakthrough in the process of dog-cloning. So if you have a dog that you are deeply attached to, then you can make clones of it by taking live skin cells from its body and injecting it into a donor egg, collected from a female dog, emptied of its original DNA.
And the cost of the entire process – a $100,000.
The South Korean lab claims to have cloned around 600 dogs, mainly for those owners who have lost their precious pets. Investigation agencies, who look for certain special kills in a particular dog, also are customers of the lab.
In an interview to NPR, Paula and Philip Dupont explained the process of how they turned to the South Korean lab when they wanted to clone their dog Melvin, which was a mixed-breed. The couple explain in the interview that when Melvin showed signs of aging, they decided to clone the dog by taking live skin cells and sending it to the lab. Even though the first attempt went unsuccessful, on the second try, two healthy genetically identical individuals were produced. The couple couldn’t be more happier.
“They come running through the house and jump in your lap — a 75-pound dog sitting in your lap, watching TV,” NPR quoted them saying.
Junichi Fukuda, a Japanese dog-owner, also has a dog that is cloned through Sooam for a $100,000. According to Tech Insider, Fukuda had his clone ready merely three months after his dog Momoko died. The puppy, a black pug, is currently at the Sooam facility, but come November, Fukuda would be able to bring his dog through Japanese customs to his home.
“She acts exactly the same as Momoko, but I understand that she is a different dog,” Tech Insider quoted Fukuda saying.