South Korean scientists clone famous 9/11 rescue dog
South Korean scientists on Thursday said they have successfully cloned a dog that made headlines by rescuing victims out of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, reports Yonhap news agency.
Hwang Woo-suk cloned "Trakr," who died in April at the age of 16. The dog became a "hero" after having pulled the last remaining survivor out of the rubble of Ground Zero in New York.
Suam Biotechnology Institute said the team led by former veterinary professor at Seoul National University Hwang Woo-suk was the first scientist ever to clone a dog in 2005.
Being a controversial figure, Hwang is currently on trial for falsifying data related to the creation of the world's first embryonic stem cells.
Elaborating on the cloning, the laboratory said that the cloning took place in cooperation with California-based BioArts International that provided the dog's DNA samples.
Suam Biotechnology Institute said that it cloned the rescue dog free of charge with all five puppies being given to James Symington, a retired Canadian police officer and the original owner of Trakr.
The laboratory in Yongin, south of Seoul, said that original DNA from the German Shepard was inserted into a "surrogate" cell that was then injected into female dogs.
It stressed that the five puppies were exact copies of Trakr, with their DNA being checked by an independent laboratory. "The puppies are expected to become rescue dogs and could open new horizons for cloning specialized canines that have done well in police and rescue operations," it said.