The cloning of Blue Frankenstein dog, he's now 16 weeks old

Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 10:03 am
Out of The Old Blue
Albuquerque Journal
Nov 2, 2011
By Charles D. Brunt

Somewhere in the Albuquerque area lives a very unusual puppy – a cloned half-mastiff/half-Great Dane with the telling, formal name of Blue Frankenstein. But he’s hardly a monster.

Blue is a 16-week-old clone of his predecessor who, for clarity’s sake, we’ll refer to as “old” Blue. Old Blue died of bone cancer in 2008, said David Caffey, associate veterinarian at VCA West Mesa Animal Hospital on Coors NW, who has cared for both Blues.

The new Blue, Caffey said, is “an identical copy” of old Blue – the product of genetic cloning which, in this case, took place in South Korea at a company that specializes in cloning canines. The cost: about $100,000.

Blue’s owner prefers to remain anonymous, Caffey said.

COURTESY OF KOAT-TV The Blues: cloned puppy The Albuquerque owner paid about $100,000 to clone the dog on the right.

When old Blue began showing signs of age and declining health, his owner had his DNA preserved. After his death, Blue’s DNA was inserted into a canine egg that had been stripped of its own DNA, and the egg was implanted into a surrogate mother, Caffey said.

About 60 days later, Blue was born, much to the delight of his owner. Just after Blue was weaned, he was brought to Caffey for his regular puppy exam.

“He’s a neat puppy,” Caffey said. “He’s healthy and acts like any other puppy.”

Well, any other puppy that already weighs upward of 50 pounds and will likely weigh more than 200 pounds when fully grown.

Old Blue, Caffey said, topped the scales at about 220 pounds before he became ill.

Large breeds like mastiffs and Great Danes typically live eight to 10 years, he said.

Given the ethical debate about cloning and the prohibitive cost of canine cloning, RNL-Bio in South Korea is the only company in the world currently doing the work.

It began its cloning work in cooperation with Seoul National University in Korea and is credited with cloning the world’s first canine in 2005, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.

Though it is not known how many cloned dogs there are in the United States, Caffey said he has heard it is fewer than 10, making Blue one rare puppy.

Photo: http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2011/11/02/news/out-of-the.html/attachment/a01_jd_02nov_blue3_cmyk
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Region Philbis
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