In a recent study of sturgeon (species of fish in the family Acipenseridae), scientists have made improvements to a technique called somatic nuclear cell transfer, with the ultimate goal of saving endangered species. Sturgeon are threatened due to high levels of poaching, increasing habitat destruction, water pollution and overfishing. This makes this species a perfect candidate to improve this type of cloning method, in the hope of saving natural populations from endangerment. The somatic nuclear cell transfer technique is a well-known cloning method that has been used for years, but focuses on thriving species rather than endangered or extinct animals. This technique usually uses a single somatic donor cell with a single manipulation and inserts it into a recipient egg of the species of interest. It has recently been established that the position of this somatic cell in the recipient country is very important for the successful cloning of a species. By adapting to the original method of using a single somatic cell and using multiple somatic donor cells to be inserted into the recipient egg, the likelihood that the donor somatic cells are in the crucial position on the egg is significantly increased. This increase then leads to higher success rates in cloning. There is still research with this improved method, but from the data collected so far, it seems like a reasonable method to proceed and soon be able to help endanger species like sturgeon and perhaps stop extinction.
 The cloning process is quite simple. It starts with cells in culture, like the ones Ko brought from his bereaved`s former companion. Next, scientists extract unfertilized eggs from another unrelated dog and remove them from its fallopian tubes. This animal is usually not injured, although the procedure is invasive. To clone a cat or dog, it takes many attempts. Downing says the cloning process doesn`t work 75% of the time. Implanted embryos do not go to the surrogate mother, miscarriages occur, and animals are born with birth defects. Although pet cloning is sometimes advertised as a potential method of recovering a deceased service animal, cloning pets does not result in animals that look exactly like the previous animal (in appearance or personality).  Although the animal in question is cloned, there are still phenotypic differences that may affect its appearance or health. This problem was brought to light during the cloning of a cat named Rainbow. The Rainbow clone, later called CC, was genetically identical to Rainbow, but the CC staining patterns were not the same due to the kitten`s development in the womb, as well as random genetic differences in the clone such as variable X chromosome inactivation.  In the end, the tormented septuagenarian from Koa did not clone his dog after all.
According to Ko, it was the price that put him off. (Right now, his dog`s cells are still in a freezer, unused, but theoretically still usable if he changes his mind.) Centuries of selective breeding have left many with the misconception that a dog`s genetic makeup determines its personality. “In a way, cloning companies are taking advantage of this ignorance, if you will, about what`s really going on scientifically,” Pierce tells me over the phone. And that`s unfortunate. Genetic preservation companies have names like “PerPETuate, Inc.,” which seem to imply the indefinite survival of the cloned animal. The documents address animal health risks related to cloning and the safety of food derived from cloned animals; actions falling within the Agency`s competence to address the risks associated with animal cloning; and the Agency`s current reflections on the use of edible products derived from clones or their offspring for food or feed. In fact, as the topic becomes more and more discussed, it is important for animal professionals to educate pet owners about the different aspects (good and bad) of pet cloning. Despite its controversy, the study of pet cloning has the potential to contribute to scientific, veterinary, and medical knowledge, and it is a potential resource for efforts to preserve vulnerable cousins of cats and dogs.  If you`re ready to purchase pet cloning services, you can do so here. “I understand the impetus behind trying to keep your dog forever,” says Alexandra Horowitz, director of Columbia University`s Canine Cognition Lab and author of the 2010 book Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know.
“One of the great sadnesses of living with dogs is that the time we live with them is so short. Unfortunately, you have to overlook a lot about the process – not to mention what cloning actually is – to be satisfied with the results. Although pet cloning is not currently available in Australia, there are now commercial markets for pet cloning in the US, UK, China and South Korea. At the time, researchers wondered if cloning produced animals that age faster or have a higher risk of disease than their cell donor. Dolly died of lung disease and arthritis at the age of 6, about half the age of an average sheep; Snuppy died at the age of 12 from the same cancer that killed Tai. In 2017, the South Korean team explored this topic in a Nature paper about their attempt to make clones from Snuppy`s own stem cells. Their ongoing research hopes to “examine the health and longevity of cloned animals in relation to their cell donors.” After several unsuccessful attempts, the first successful dog cloning experiment took place in 2005, when a South Korean team managed to create a pair of Afghan puppies from the ear skin of a dog named Tai. One of the newborns died shortly after of pneumonia. But the second cloned dog, which the team named Snuppy, lived an impressive 10 years. Snuppy was called a “revolutionary breakthrough in dog cloning” by Time magazine and one of the most amazing “inventions” of the year. Ko was an advisor to the South Korean team.
The FDA does not support or oppose the cloning of food-producing animals for agricultural purposes. The FDA`s mission is to protect public health. Until the FDA completed the final risk assessment process for animal cloning, it asked manufacturers to voluntarily keep foods from clones out of the food supply to complete the food safety assessment. Cloning is just one tool in farmers` toolbox. As with other assisted reproduction techniques, the impact of cloning on the genetic heritage depends on the responsible use of the technology by breeders. If you`ve ever thought about cloning your dog, this process may already make you hesitate. But things are getting even more morally questionable. The science of dog cloning has evolved significantly since researchers introduced Snuppy to the world.