The world's first cloned dog and genetically modified dog has been born in China, scientists announced.
The puppy, named Long Long, was born May 28 in the laboratory of Beijing-based biotech company Sino Gene. His father, Apple was born in December and was the world's first dog created by gene editing.
Project scientist Lai Liangxue of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health told China's Science and Technology Daily that the birth is a "breakthrough," which makes China only the second country in the world, after South Korea, to independently master dog-somatic clone technology.
"With this technology, by selecting a certain gene of the dog, we can breed an animal with more muscles, better sense of smell and stronger running ability, which is good for hunting and police applications," Lai said.
Although the cloning is a first, Sino Gene scientists are old hands at making genetically modified dogs. Last year, they managed to produce genetically modified muscular beagles, doubling their muscle mass by deleting a gene called myostatin.
In 2015, Chinese researchers at the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) made genetically edited micropigs, which it then put up for sale as pets for around 10,000 yuan (US$1,470).