Snuppy, the first cloned dog, was re-cloned to see if there are any unforeseen effects and differences from the first clone and the original.

Clones of the first cloned dog
Clones of the first cloned dog

( — November 23, 2017) — The concept of soul vs body is put to the test after scientists decide to re-clone a clone to see if a copy of a copy would suffer the same fate.

Following the idea to search for evidence whether genetically identical organisms would be identical in more ways than just molecular structure, an international group of scientists re-cloned Snuppy, the first dog clone.

Scientists from Seoul National University, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois published a paper on re-cloning. Their objective was to see if duplicating animals speeds up the aging process or causes unknown birth defects.

The original dog Tai, a male Afghan hound, received its duplicate named Snoopy in 2005, which became the world’s first dog clone.

The stunning revelation was that the clone suffered the same fate as the original. After living a healthy life on Seoul National University campus, Snoopy died of cancer, exactly as Tai did. However, Tai lived two years longer.

Since Snoopy lived 10 years before dying of the same cancer as Tai did at age 12, scientists were puzzled if the age shortage occurred due to the cloning. Normal life expectancy for Afghan hounds is 11.9 years.

When Snuppy was five, however, researchers again collected stem cells, this time from the clone, and used them to implant 94 embryos in all, resulting in the birth of four re-cloned puppies.

One puppy died four days after birth which is not uncommon amongst newborn pups; however, the puppy died of unexplained diarrhea. The other puppies were nearly a year old when the paper was written but the whole research has been published now when re-cloned dogs are 7 years old.

Interest in the viability of cloned pets which propelled this research has grown since Tai was duplicated in 2005. The research has so far shown little evidence that clones are in poorer health that the original. Cloning a clone is, however, uncharted territory and scientists hope it will reveal more on the life of clones.