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Scientist clone first dog -

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Reporter: Di Bain

PETER CAVE: The scientists behind the first cloned dog have created a litter of cloned puppies
which glow a bright red colour when held under ultraviolet light.

The embryos of the beagles were altered using fluorescent genetic material from a sea anemone.

The South Korean based research team have called the first born Ruppy, which they say is short for
Ruby Puppy.

They hope research will help them to cure human diseases such as Parkinson's.

Di Bain reports.

DI BAIN: Known for its hyper sense of smell and friendly demeanour, the beagle is now seeing red.

South Korean researchers behind the first cloned dog, Afghan hound Snuppy, are claiming to have
created the first transgenic dog and it glows a bright red colour.

Researchers took skin cells from a beagle, inserted fluorescent genes from a coral-like sea
creature, into them, and then put them into eggs. Those eggs were implanted into the womb of a
surrogate mother.

Then Ruppy, the ruby puppy, was born.

Ruppy's nails and stomach look red to the naked eye but under a UV light Ruppy glows a bright red
colour.

The head of the research team Professor Lee Byeong-chun, says it's an achievement that goes beyond
just the glowing novelty. He hopes it will help cure human diseases such as Parkinson's.

LEE BYEONG-CHUN (translated): We have succeeded in cloning dogs with gene transformation by
inserting a special gene in the cell. Even though we inserted a transgenic gene in them if we
insert a human disease related gene in them, we can use them as great model to study diseases.

DI BAIN: The findings of the research have been published in the New Scientist magazine and
Australian transgenic researchers are impressed.

Dr Kathie Raphael from the University of Sydney says transgenic research has been conducted in rats
and mice but this is the first transgenic dog.

KATHIE RAPHAEL: If you are going to use this transgenic technique, you can, any gene that has been
shown to be involved in the disease can be used to modify the dog and study the disease just as it
can in mice and rats.

So in that sense, you can use the dogs, the transgenic dogs to study any disease.

DI BAIN: Is it ethical to do this kind of research?

KATHIE RAPHAEL: I suppose dogs are seen as domestic pets and sort of close to many people's hearts
and in that sense, it is a value judgement as to whether you think it is an ethical thing.

DI BAIN: Is it dangerous? It seems quite unnatural for a dog to glow?

KATHIE RAPHAEL: Don't believe it is dangerous in a sense that, you know, you would have to look at
each dog and see what effect expression of this protein had.

DI BAIN: The scientists are hoping the long life span of dogs and their reproductive cycle, could
make them more relevant to human fertility than mice.

PETER CAVE: Di Bain with that glowing report.