The world’s smallest dog, holding the Guinness record since 2012, has recently received a new world record for being cloned 49 times.
She was given the name Miracle Milly because when the tiny Chihuahua was born it was believed that she would not survive, however she is thriving today despite weighing less than a pound.
Milly has gained worldwide recognition and has thousands of fans, but her size and stature caught the attention of scientists from the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, Korea.
Milly’s owners granted the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation permission to clone the dog.
According to the Daily Mail, cells extracted from Milly were then transplanted to a donor egg cell and later an embryo was placed into a surrogate.
Twelve pups were born from that first litter of clones in August of 2017 and all of them live with Milly’s family.
Today Milly has been now cloned 49 times and researchers are hoping that the clones will provide clues to how Milly is able to thrive given her tiny stature.
Besides slight size differences, according to Milly’s family, her first 12 clones have similar looks and personalities.
“The original idea was to make ten clones in total, nine for research and one for us, but they decided to clone her more times,” Vanesa Semler, Milly’s owner, told the Daily Mail. “She was chosen for being the smallest dog in the world. They want to find out why she was so small and then study her genes to find out what makes her so tiny. It’s amazing to be around all of her clones, they are so smart, very playful like Milly and have really similar personalities.”
The research lab in Seoul is hoping to clone other dogs besides Milly and are offering $100,000 to owners willing to clone their pets.
In Milly’s case, the research data on her clones will be compiled and analyzed and eventually published in a study which will hopefully reveal the secrets to her size.
“We will be working together with the Director as well as four specialists from the world renown Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) as well as other collaborating scientists to characterize the genetic and epigenetic factors of the of the cloned Milly and the original Milly,” David Kim, from the Soaam, told the Daily Mail.
Image Credit: AOWR, Caters News