A team in South Korea have claimed to have cloned coyotes for the first time. The team is being led by Hwang Woo-suk, the disgraced stem cell scientist who had produced papers with fabricated results.
It was revealed yesterday that eight coyotes were born in June at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in an attempt to clone a wide variety of species of animals. The work is being done under the cooperation of South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province.
The coyotes are said to raised where they were born and will be donated to zoos in South Korea and around the world.
However, work by Hwang will be under a watchful eye as in 2005 he had faked research showing a breakthrough in human cloning which involved embryonic stem cells sending his national status downward.
Another of his cloning achievements has been Snuppy the first cloned dog, which was verified by experts and authorities.
He has claimed that he would like to use the same technology and knowledge to save animals from going extinct.
Using twitter as the vehicle to release a message Governor Kim Moon-Soo praised Hwang for what he called the world’s first use of such a technique. He went on to say: “The cloning of an African wild dog is under way, and we will attempt to clone a mammoth in the future.”
The team took cells from the skin of coyotes at Cheongju Land and then preceded to cultivate them last year. The process then reached the stage where the nuclei were transplanted into a dog’s womb in April and in June three coyotes were born.
Talking about the cloning Hwang said: “When I reproduced the cloned dog Snuppy in 2004, we had one success after 1,208 attempts, but we’ve dramatically increased the success rate by cloning only after two attempts.”
When Governor Kim visited the team he said: “You’ve made a great achievement. If a dinosaur is cloned after a mammoth, you can make a Jurassic Park.”