(CC News) In a startling scientific breakthrough, scientists from South Korea announced that they succeeded in cloning a dog:
The group worked for nearly three years, seven days a week, 365 days a year and used 1,095 eggs from 122 dogs before finally succeeding with the birth of a cloned male Afghan hound. The surrogate mother was a yellow Labrador retriever.
What is particularly impressive is that dogs are considered one of the most difficult of all animals to clone:
Dogs have such an unusual reproductive biology, far more so than humans, scientists say, that the methods that allowed cloning of sheep, mice, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, cats, a mule, a horse and three rats, and creation of cloned human embryos for stem cells, simply do not work with them...
The reason that other researchers are so impressed, said Mark E. Westhusin, a cloning researcher at Texas A&M University, is that with dogs, "their reproductive biology makes them a nightmare." Cats, in what might seem a turnabout, are biologically much less finicky.
Dr. Westhusin cloned the first cat, in 2002, on his second try. But, he said, after trying for a few years to clone a dog, "I quit."
Other researchers say dog cloning is so hard, they will not try it. George E. Seidel Jr. of Colorado State said Genetic Savings & Clone approached him and "I refused." As for the South Koreans, who succeeded in what is the Mount Everest of cloning, it was "simply a heroic effort, a brute force heroic effort," Dr. Seidel said.
In unrelated science news, U.S. President George Bush announced that he favoured the teaching of "intelligent design" since, when it came to addressing the unresolved scientific questions related to the origin and development of life, it was critically important for students to know that God made them and loved them all.