Friday, March 10, 2006

Snuppy the puppy is..... *drumroll*

A clone! As it turns out, although Hwang managed to basically humiliate the entire field of stem cell research by fraudulently falsifying data, at least the dog Snuppy is 100% genuine clone. Two studies published this week in Nature, by two independent groups one led by the Seoul National University Investigation Committee and the other by Heidi G. Parker et al show conclusively Snuppy is a clone. Interestingly though, the paper by Heidi G. Parker et al indicates the group is still somewhat skeptical of the overall result, citing several problems with a totally conclusive assessment of their results.

Firstly, they note they did not personally draw the blood samples used by them in the experiment but a third party did. They don't anticipate this to be a problem however, but probably mentioned it for completeness in case the result was disputed (which looks unlikely). Additionally, they were not provided samples from the original oocyte (egg) donor, which was tested by the SNUIC, so they cannot make a definite assessment of if the results from the mitochrondrial analysis they attained were expected.

Overall however, I think we can now bury the hatchet over the whole question if Snuppy is a clone or not.