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Tue Mar 6, 2018, 06:07 PM

The Hidden Dogs of Dog Cloning

It takes numerous dogs to clone one, raising animal welfare issues

Dog cloning. You’ve probably heard about it. Barbra Streisand certainly has, and she’s not alone. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, who hasn’t looked at a beloved dog and wished for more time? The grief of losing a dog is real and is in no way trivial. But as a dog lover — not just a lover of one particular dog — would you actually want to look into cloning?

Cloning is pretty much what your 9-year-old self thought: it replicates an individual’s genetic makeup, and tada(!), out comes a genetic clone. It sure seems like a straightforward, one-to-one process — take cells from a beloved dog, send them to a cloning lab, and get back your cloned BFF. But the “tada” part is anything but straightforward, and that’s where the animal welfare concerns arise.

In 1996, Dolly the sheep became the first cloned mammal. Since then, cloning took off, sort of. Mice, cows, pigs, goats, rabbits, and cats were relatively easy to clone, but a multi-million-dollar project out of Texas A&M to clone a dog in the late 1990s — the Missyplicity Project— did not produce another Missy. As reported recently in Scientific Reports, “What made dog cloning challenging was certain unique aspects of the reproductive process in canids compared to most other mammals.” Dogs have a more limited breeding period, and it can also be difficult to extract their eggs, a necessary step in the cloning process.

The first cloned puppy, Snuppy, an Afghan hound, was born in 2005 at Seoul National University using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In this technique, eggs are removed from female dogs, the nucleus is removed (enucleated), and body cells from the to-be-cloned dog are injected into the eggs. The eggs serve as host for the genetic material of the dog to be cloned. Electric stimulation makes the egg divide, and divide, and divide to behave like a growing embryo, and eggs are then implanted into a dog who serves as a surrogate. The history of dog cloning shows common use of multiple surrogates.

The protagonist of the dog cloning story is not the cells to be cloned or even the cloned dog. Instead, the unseen protagonists are the dogs behind the scenes giving one dog’s cells a new run at life. Cloning research — and the cloning of any beloved pet dog — relies heavily on female dogs. Not only for their eggs, but also as surrogates to birth the clones. In the cloning business, these dogs are housed for the purpose of egg extraction and implantation, with varying success rates.

To produce Snuppy, the first dog clone, over 1,000 embryos were surgically transferred to 123 surrogates, resulting in three pregnancies. Out of those three, one fetus miscarried, and two were carried to term — one clone had neonatal respiratory distress and died within three weeks, and the other became the world famous Snuppy. A 2008 paper described the cloning of a toy poodle by implanting 20 dogs — two became pregnant, and only one maintained the pregnancy to produce a live puppy by caesarean section. Of course, many more dogs were part of the early stages to figure out the just-so technique needed to clone a dog.

Entire article at:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/dog-spies/the-hidden-dogs-of-dog-cloning/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sa-editorial-social&utm_content=link-post&utm_term=biology_blog_text_free&sf183794341=1

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Hidden Dogs of Dog Cloning (Original post)
Cattledog Mar 2018 OP
BigmanPigman Mar 2018 #1
PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2018 #2
csziggy Mar 2018 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2018 #4
csziggy Mar 2018 #5
japple Mar 2018 #6
radical noodle Mar 2018 #7
hamsterjill Mar 2018 #8

Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 06:42 PM

1. I heard about Barbra Streisand while watching the Oscars

when Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about it and I googled it to see if it was true. You don't get the same dog "personality", character and spirit only a similar appearance. I thought about it 15 years ago when my dog died and I realized this. Also, it is expensive and so many orphans need homes so it should not be considered, at least by me anyway.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/116136962

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 07:08 PM

2. I do not understand why anyone would want to clone

a favorite dog. Or horse or cat or hamster even.

You will not get the same animal back. You'll simply get a new one that looks a lot like the original.

Plus, there are so many cats and dogs, and even horses, that need homes. Go to a shelter. I'm not so sure about hamsters, but they are pretty easy to find.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 07:49 PM

3. In this area there are usually rabbits up for adoption

I'm with you - don't try to recreate a favorite pet, give another one a new home!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 09:18 PM

4. That's nice to know.

I believe they are occasionally available in my city, also.

I'm a cat person, but this also applies to dogs: If you want a new companion animal go to a shelter. If you want a puppy or kitten they'll have them. If you want a specific breed they often have those, too. Or contact a local rescue group. They do wonderful work.

I happen to be cat-free right now because I do too much travelling around to consider having even a potted plant. But when I am ready for a new cat or two I'll be off to the shelter and take the oldest one they have. Older animals seem to understand very clearly that they've been given a new lease on life.

Similarly, your children are all uniquely themselves. Even identical twins or triplets are not (other than biologically) clones of each other. I only had two children, but they are so different from each other that I'm a bit sorry I didn't have six more, just to see how they turned out. Next lifetime, maybe.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 09:28 PM

5. All but one of my pets have been adopted or found

Most came from the animal shelter, some were dumped on the road in front of our farm, some were brought to us because they knew we'd take them, and the best dog I ever owned was running around trying to grab road kill off a highway.

One kitten I paid $5 for at a pet shop - he ended up the most expensive cat I ever had after a horse injured him and we had to pay a bunch of vet bills to sew his tummy back up.

We're down to one cat right now - and will wait a while before we adopt another. We're planning some traveling over the next few years so won't get another for the same reason you said. And same thing, we will probably adopt an older cat or two.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2018, 05:18 PM

6. Our county animal control facility usually has dogs, and puppies, kittens and cats,

but we have had horses, goats, bunnies, guinea pigs, birds, ducks, donkeys and, just a few weeks ago, this:

[img]?1[/img]

which was picked up by her owner within 24 hours. She paid her own fee by laying an egg.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2018, 10:33 PM

7. As much as I've loved all my pets

I would never have one cloned. I find it much more fulfilling to find a rescue to adopt; and I must say most of my rescues have found me, rather than the other way around. I've never had a bad experience with any rescue, and they are all wonderful in their own unique way.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Thu Mar 8, 2018, 02:08 PM

8. I think it is the ultimate tribute to a beloved and lost pet

To save another one and give that one safety and love. Cloning is, to me, the same as supporting breeders when so many dogs and cats are dying because there are not enough homes.

Adopt! Don’t shop!!!

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