Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cloned sniffer dogs

The Los Angeles Times has a piece on cloned dogs being used at Incheon International Airport. The Labrador retrievers are genetic copies of a successful Canadian sniffer dog, created by Lee Byung-chun, a former colleague of disgraced cloning specialist Hwang Woo-suk.
Seven cloned puppies were born, and six completed the 16-month training program to become sniffer dogs. (The seventh had to drop out of the training program due to injury.) Three of the six Labradors that completed the training program have now reported for duty at South Korea's main airport, Incheon International Airport. The other three are assigned to customs checkpoints in Incheon and two other cities.

As was the case with previous dogs cloned at Seoul National University, the cloned sniffer dogs don't have the most creative of names: All six are named Toppy, a not-terribly-clever amalgam of "tomorrow" and "puppy." ("I'd have thought that would be Tomoppy," was one BBC reporter's comment.)
BBC reporter, keep your day job. 

[above: The biggest problem with cloned dogs is that they all go to the exact same place at once.]

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