SOUTH KOREA – Biotech Company Says It Will Cost Half to Clone Dogs

(Stem Cells News image)

Cloning a Chow Chow will be easy and will also cost at least half of what it would cost to clone any other type of dog, announced a South Korean biotech company today while presenting new cloning technology.

But dog-owners – who pay 100,000 dollars or more to clone a pet – will still have to pay tens of thousands of dollars if they want to clone their beloved four-legged friends, and must be prepared for long waiting-lists, because most cloning at a commercial level involves dogs used for work, like police dogs used in airports.

The Rnl Bio company announced that it has developed a new cloning method for dogs that utilizes stem cells derived from fat tissue, which notably increase the possibilities for success in the operation. According to the company, the new technology may also contribute to studies for cures for genetic disorders in dogs, which resemble some human pathologies, like diabetes.

“If we completely develop this technology, cloning dogs will also be much easier than it is now. We can reduce the costs of cloning,” explained Ra Jeongchan, Rnl Bio CEO, located in Seoul.

Ra, who has presented a request for a patent, said that last week two beagles were born using this method, which could reduce the costs to reproduce a pet dog by about 50,000 dollars in 3 years.

Dogs are the most difficult mammals to clone due to a complicated reproductive cycle with unpredictable ovulations.

Numerous dogs have already been cloned using so-called somatic cell nuclear transfera, a technique in which the nucleus of a donor egg is extracted and injected with the genetic material of the donor, usually from a flap of skin taken from its ear.

According to Ra, the stem cells taken from adipose tissue are much easier to reprogram and there is a 20pct possibility that a manipulated cell will give life to a clone, with a clear improvement compared to the previous method, whose success percentage was less than 10pct.

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