Dog cloned in a test-tube by scientists gives birth to second litter

Dog cloned in a test-tube by South Korean scientists working to bring back the extinct woolly mammoth has given birth to her SECOND litter of seven puppies since she was created

  • The laboratory made laika dog is called Kerechene and was first created in 2017
  • She has now given birth to two separate litters of seven puppies since then
  • All of the puppies will be given to hunters where they will become working dogs 
  • The team behind the dog are also working to resurrect the woolly mammoth 

A dog cloned in a test-tube by a team of South Korean scientists working to bring back the woolly mammoth has given birth to her second litter of seven puppies.

Kerechene – a laika – has been dubbed ‘supermum’ by the team of geneticists after giving birth to the second litter on New Year’s Day this year.

The second set of puppies includes five females – black in colour – and two lighter-shaded males, all naturally born, and follow the first litter from May 2019.

Kerechene was cloned three years ago by a team of South Korean scientists led by cloning expert Dr Hwang Woo Suk.

The first litter was born in May last year, the second this month with five females – black in colour – and two lighter-shaded males, all naturally born 

Kerechene was cloned three years ago by a team of South Korean scientists led by cloning expert Dr Hwang Woo Suk.

Laboratory-made Kerechene – a laika – has shown she is a ‘supermum’ by producing two sets of seven babies in Siberia since she was created in 2017

Kerechene was brought to life in 2017 at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, where Dr Suk and his team are based. 

They used a small fragment of her mother’s ear to capture the genetic material needed to produce the clone.

When she was three months old she was taken to Russia and introduced to her genetic mother for the first time.

‘Seven puppies were born, two boys and five girls,’ said Dmitry Ivanov, of Bayanay hunting club in Yakutia region, introducing the new arrivals.

‘All of them are well, they were born strong.’

The naturally-born puppies will be given away as working dogs to hunters.

The cloning was undertaken by the South Koreans with Russian scientists from North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, reports The Siberian Times.

Kerechene’s development is being studied for the purpose of genetic research, as is another cloned laika called Belekh.  

Kerechene’s development is being studied for the purpose of genetic research, as is another cloned laika called Belekh

Her first litter was born in 2014 and they were all light coloured pups. Like the first round of puppies, the latest naturally-born puppies will be given away as working dogs to hunters

Dr Suk and his team are also working on cloning the extinct woolly mammoth using remains of the species preserved in the permafrost soil in Siberia. 

Seven years ago blood was found in a mammoth carcass on Malolyakhovskiy island, dated as 28,000 years old.

Other samples – some older – taken from mammoths have been found not to be of sufficient quantity for cloning. 

The same team are also hoping to resurrect the long-extinct Lenskaya breed of horse by extracting cells from a 42,000-year-old extinct foal discovered preserved in near-perfect condition in Siberia.

After several months of intense work on the frozen baby horse, a joint Russian-South Korean research team are growing optimistic that they will obtain the cells needed. 

WHAT SPECIES ARE SCIENTISTS WORKING TO BRING OUT OF EXTINCTION?

De-extinction, or the process of bringing vanished species back to life, is becoming more and more common among researchers.

Cloning is the most common form of de-extinction, but scientists can also slip ancient DNA sequences into the eggs of live species. 

Harvard researchers believe they may be able to bring the little bush moa back from extinction using this method.

Scientists are also close to bringing the dodo out of extinction.

A scientist holds up a reconstructed model of the dodo (right) next to a skeleton of the extinct bird in 1938. The flightless bird went extinct in the late 1600s 

The dodo is a flightless bird that went extinct from Mauritius, an island east of Madagascar, in the late 1600s. 

Aside from the dodo, scientists are also trying to revive the passenger pigeon, a wild pigeon that went extinct in the early 1900s.

The passenger pigeon primarily resided in North America, primarily around the Great Lakes. 

Scientists have also reconstructed the genome of the Tasmanian tiger, which is native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

It’s believed to have gone extinct in the 20th century and is known for its striped lower back.  

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