Best Friend Forever: Argentina will receive its first cloned dog

Who has never suffered tremendously from losing their pet? Myself, this writer who writes to you, I still cry for the lack of my little dog, who passed away a couple of months ago. For, according to Ramiro Barreiro of El País, a family from Buenos Aires, Argentina, went through the same painful experience and decided to pay a cloning company to bring his dog Antony back to life.

This is Lina, my little dog that died :(

According to Ramiro, the pet died of old age at the beginning of the year, and the family - who chose not to be identified - who could not settle for Antony's loss, decided to contact the Argentine company BIOCAN, the only Latin American representative of the laboratory. Sooam Biotech Reserach Foundation, based in South Korea, which would be responsible for about 1, 000 cloning.

Reversing the loss

As Ramiro said, the cloning procedure as commissioned by the Argentine family costs between $ 60, 000 and $ 100, 000 (between $ 202, 000 and $ 337, 000, approximately) and is called nuclear transfer of somatic cells. The technique basically consists of extracting the nucleus of a somatic cell and then transferring it to an egg whose genetic material has been previously removed.

Antony, the dog that belonged to the Argentine family

In Antony's case, the experts harvested the cell from the animal's epithelial tissue, and the embryo obtained was implanted in a dog that gestated the clone normally. More precisely, a veterinarian first extracted the dog's skin cells and took this material to the laboratory of the Buenos Aires College of Agronomy so that cell reproduction could be performed there.

Once the cells were formed, they were placed in liquid nitrogen tubes and shipped to South Korea. Once there, Korean laboratory experts selected the best ones and began the cloning process. According to Ramiro, a total of 24 samples were obtained, of which 18 were sent to the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation. The remaining six were stored in a cell bank in case of any unforeseen events.

The entire procedure takes almost a full year to complete, and the cloned animal is delivered to families anywhere in the world. In fact, the pet travels on special flights and, when necessary, can even be placed in pressurized transport boxes. After Antony's “copy” has been successfully completed, the Argentine company has received some new orders and expects the high cost to be reduced in the future.

New solution?

As Ramiro explained, over 1, 000 dogs have been cloned around the world, and the procedure is becoming fashionable in countries like China, Russia, Australia, Canada, the United States, India and Japan. Now, it seems that the option is coming for our bands, and there is little doubt that it will become fashionable here as well.

According to those responsible for the procedure, what they do is create a twin identical to the previous dog

According to Daniel Jacoby, director of the representative of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Argentina, cloning is not hurting anyone, and experts are not "reliving" anything. According to him, dogs are the most humanized animals on the planet, so much so that they live with us and, in many cases, sleep in our beds, travel together on vacation and are considered as family members.

What the experts do, in fact, is raise a twin identical to the previous dog with the same physical characteristics. The person responsible for the conduct of the animal is the family that requested the procedure.

The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation was founded by the Korean Hwang Woo-Suk - a scientist who got involved in a huge scandal a few years ago. In 2005, information was reported that he had cloned human embryos and Woo-Suk was sentenced to 2 years in prison. However, the committee responsible for investigating the case concluded that the researcher had cloned his first dog - and the sentence was suspended.