This press release is copyright Nature. VOL.440 NO.7081 DATED 9 MARCH 2006
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Genetics: Yes, Snuppy is definitely a clone
The Seoul National University Investigation Committee investigating the work of the disgraced cloning pioneer Woo Suk Hwang has found that Snuppy - the Afghan hound unveiled by Hwang's team as the world's first cloned dog - is genuine. In this week's Nature, the committee at Seoul National University, where Hwang carried out the work, produces evidence that Snuppy was indeed created using cloning techniques.
The scandal surrounding Hwang's discredited human-embryo cloning work led to the launch of a full investigation, amid doubts over the validity of his other work. The committee, writing in a Brief Communications Arising, reports the DNA analysis of blood samples from Snuppy, Tai - Snuppy's nuclear DNA donor - and the surrogate mother, as well as of lung tissue from the oocyte donor. The results show that Snuppy was indeed created by introducing nuclear DNA from Tai into an empty egg - ruling out the possibility that the extreme genetic similarity between the two dogs arose through inbreeding or twinning.
In an accompanying Brief Communications Arising, US researchers led by Elaine Ostrander of the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute report on similar experiments - using blood samples shipped from the Korean university - that also confirm Snuppy's cloned status. "Our analysis rules out most feasible alternatives to a true clone," the researchers write.
Elaine Ostrander (National Human Genome Research Centre, Bethesda, MD, USA)
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In Kwong Chung (SNU Investigation Committee, Yonsei University, Seoul)
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