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Owlscrying

first cloned wolves

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Mar. 26

A team at Seoul National University, which produced the world's first cloned dog in 2005 -- an Afghan hound named Snuppy -- showed off the two Korean wolves named Snuwolf and Snuwolffy that were born a year and a half ago.

"Normally, scientific periodicals would not ask for mitochondrial DNA verification but we needed to produce it due to previous problems," said Lee Byung-chun, a professor who heads the research team.

Lee said cloning Korean wolf could help the species survive. Wolves have not been spotted in the wild in South Korea for about 20 years, Lee said, and the only ones that are known to exist in the South are in a small pack of about 10 at a nature park in Seoul.

Snuppy was dubbed one of the most amazing inventions of 2005 by Time magazine. Independent testing has concluded the dog was an actual clone.

In December, the team said it had cloned three more Afghan hounds and improved the efficiency of its cloning methods.

For the wolf cloning, it transferred 251 reconstructed embryos to 12 surrogate mothers to produce two living clones.

Dogs are considered among the most difficult mammals to clone because of their reproductive cycle.

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