Winnie, a 12-year-old dachshund, was reproduced as a puppy thanks to her owner, who cloned her. Rebecca Smith entered and won a competition to have the $100,000 cloning procedure done by a South Korean firm, making Winnie the first cloned dog in Britain. "My sausage dog is very special but she is 12 and not going to be around forever," the 29-year-old said, adding that she traveled to South Korea to witness the birth last month.
The competition was filmed for a documentary that will air tonight in Britain. The first cloned dog in South Korea was created in 2005 by the same firm that reproduced Winnie. In order to clone the dog, doctors took a piece of skin tissue from Winnie and injected it into eggs from another dog of the same breed. "A spark of electricity then created a cloned embryo which was in turn transferred into a surrogate dog," explains the Mirror.
While some scientists hope this story will spur more people to get their dogs immortalized, skeptics say the cloned dogs won't have the same personality traits of the original pooches. "So much of the personality of a dog comes from the way you treat them. If you spend £60,000 on a cloned dog you will treat it differently. I am sufficiently skeptical," said biologist Ian Wilmut. --Jordan Valinsky