Mini-Winnie is Britain's first cloned dog
The birth of Britain's first cloned dog has been labeled as a "ridiculous waste of money" and scientists are pointing at the serious ethical concerns and implications this practices can imply.
Sooam Biotech, based in Seoul, is the company that has cloned the puppy, named Mini-Winnie, from a 12-year-old dachshund belonging to Rebecca Smith, who lives in west London.
Smith won a competition run by the company, which is now hoping to sell the service to pet owners for £60,000 a time.
Mini-Winnie was born after scientists took skin cells from Smith's pet and dropped them into donor eggs to make embryos that were carried by surrogate dogs. The puppy must remain in Korea for six months to satisfy British quarantine laws.
Researchers are warning to any interested person in cloning their pet that, although a cloned dog might look similar to its biological parent, it is a complete different animal.
Also, the cloning process is still controversial because the animals are often born with abnormalities or die soon after birth.
The first cloned dog is reported to have been born in 2005. In this case, Snuppy has been the only healthy puppy to survive after 1,095 cloned embryos were implanted in 123 dogs.
Dr Hwang, responsible for the cloning process, has been involved in some of the worst scandals in modern science. Back in 2004, he claimed to have made stem cells from patients' skin tissue but it was later discovered that he had collected human eggs from female members of his research team. He was convicted of fraud and forced to resign from his job at Seoul University.
Read more at theguardian.com
Photograph: Channel 4/PA