You probably don’t know Snuppy, but you have a vague idea of why this adorable Afghan hound is so special.
Remember the mid-‘90s when all scientists wanted to do was clone things? Dolly the sheep in 1996? Then cats, horses, mice, cows, pigs—even gaurs, whatever they are. But dogs… dogs were a problem. Scientists were unable to clone dogs due to maturing a canine ovum in a laboratory setting.
Then Woo-Suk Hwang (pictured here with Snuppy), a professor at Seoul National University figured it all out by using tissue from a 3-year-old Afghan and 1,095 implanted embryos put into 123 surrogate dogs. (That’s simplifying the ridiculously difficult process, but that was one of the keys.)
Of the 123 dogs, only three resulted in a pregnancy—of those three, one survived—Snuppy! Snuppy was so cool, he was named Time Magazine’s “Most Amazing Invention of 2005.”
Some inventions Snuppy beat out…
Greg Drouillard invented a method to stamp fruits and veggies with a “tattoo” as opposed to just using a sticker that we’re all used to. It never took off and you happily peel the stickers off your banana because big deal, it’s a sticker.
Diet Flavor Spray
Chef David Burke invented a line of “flavor sprays” that mimicked the taste of food, but had no calories. Apparently, you’d spray a device that looked like a tube of Binaca into your hungry maw and enjoy flavors like Memphis BBQ, pesto, pizza, cheeseburgers—even chocolate fudge. The idea no longer exists because people like food.
OK, this one’s cool. Laminar Technologies out of Texas invented a beer keg and tap that eliminates excessive foam and can also fill a pitcher in 10 seconds. It’s manufactured to this day and it’s spectacular.
So happy birthday, Snuppy. You’ve given very rich, very lonely people with recently deceased dogs and out-of-whack priorities the ability to clone their pooches at the starting cost of around $100,000.
Four Snuppy Facts:
1) Snuppy’s tissue was from an Afghan hound, but his mom is a Labrador Retriever.
2) Snuppy was named after Seoul National University: SNU combined with the word “puppy.”
3) Ian Wilmut, the scientist behind the cloning of Dolly the sheep, said that Snuppy proved that any mammal could be cloned and that a worldwide ban on human cloning needed to be quickly passed because of this.
4) Snuppy became a dad in 2008. He was part of the first successful attempt at breeding involved with cloned dogs. He knocked up two dogs and had 9 pups.
The New Zealand Herald
My Friend Again
All photos: Getty Images