A former collaborator of disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk claimed Monday that he succeeded in cloning a female dog after last year’s breakthrough of creating the world’s first cloned dog, which was male.
An Afghan hound, named Bona, was born on June 18 using cloning technology, said Lee Byeong-chun, a veterinary professor of Seoul National University. Two more of the same breed were born later, he said. DNA tests showed that the three female dogs are clones, he said.
“This was a process that must be done to see if a cloned dog has reproduction capabilities,” Lee told The Associated Press.
Lee was a key member of Hwang’s research team, whose purported breakthroughs in creating human stem cells through cloning were found to be fake. But the team’s success in cloning the world’s first dog, Snuppy, was confirmed.
Lee, who had been suspended from his university for three months over the stem cell scandal, was the main scientist in the dog cloning effort. He has been on trial, along with Hwang and other former team members, on charges of misappropriating research funds. If he gets a prison term, he could lose his job as professor of the top South Korean university.
The paper on cloning the female dogs appears on the Web site of journal Theriogenology.