SEOUL, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- South Korea's leading stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk said he has cloned a dog, providing another breakthrough in treatments for diseases.
It was the first time a dog had been cloned.
The puppy called Snuppy was created by taking the somatic cell from a three-year-old, male Afghan Hound and implanting it into a domestic dog's ovary that had its nuclei removed by researchers, Hwang said.
The birth of Snuppy makes dogs one of the handful of animals in the world that have been cloned, following sheep, mice, cattle and cats.
Hwang said the cloning is designed to only help investigate human disease, including the possibility of cloning stem cells for treatment purposes. Dogs are one of the "closest" animals to humans other than monkeys, he said.
"Dogs share physiological characteristics with humans. A lot of diseases that occur in dogs can be directly transferred to humans," Hwang told a press conference held at his Seoul National University.