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Clone - husky

How the scientists of Yakutia and South Korea recreated an aboriginal dog

The word "clone" is associated with us either with the series, or with the unfortunate sheep Dolly. For Yakutians, cloning already becomes everyday news: in the winter in the Yakutsk brought breed dogs of Belgian Malinois, and just a few days ago they presented cloned puppies of the Yakut hunting dog. EastRussia understood how ancient hunting traditions were intertwined with super-modern technologies.

Clone - husky
Photo: International Center for Collective Use "Molecular Paleontology" Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North NFU

This event is of special importance because the aboriginal Yakut breed of dogs is now practically lost. In the middle of the last century, the epidemic exterminated virtually all representatives of the species. A little later the East Siberian and West Siberian Laika were brought to the region, which inevitably began to mingle with the remaining indigenous dogs. All this has not contributed to the preservation of the breed of the Yakut hunting dog.

I must say, the dog was all right - strong, enduring, large, with a large muzzle and strong legs, she was characterized by a complaisant character and perfectly hunted. For the Yakuts the dog was not just a friend and a member of the family, but an assistant in the household and a partner in the hunt. Restoration of the breed, stress modern hunters, the issue of not pampering, but the preservation of national culture.

A couple of years ago the Yakut Laika was registered in the Russian Cynological Association by the owner of one of the tourist complexes in Yakutsk. In fact, the dog has no relation to the native breed and is a cross between the reindeer husky and husky. More suitable for this breed would be the name of the "northern sled" or "Kolyma". Probably, because of this, the newly appeared "Yakut Laika" was not registered at the international level.

In parallel with this search and registration of the aboriginal breed, enthusiasts from the club of lovers of hunting dogs "Bayanay" were engaged. Work in this direction began in 2008 year. To find the ideal sample, it took eight years. The dog with the nickname Bayanay was found closest in appearance and character to the Yakut hunting dog, in the wilderness of the Amginsky district of the republic. A large and strong male, loyal to the owner and, speaking on the slang of hunters, perfectly "working" for the bear and moose, unfortunately, was already too old to give offspring.


And here science came to the aid of dog lovers. Thanks to the cooperation of Northeastern Federal University with colleagues from the South Korean scientific center Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, the Bayanai Club has received what it has long dreamed of - a Yakut hunting husky puppy. And not even one, but two at once: a boy who, at the request of the club members, was named "Belekh" (translated from Yakut - "gift"), and a girl named "Kerecheene" - this translates as "beautiful". The first is a clone of the notorious Bayanaya, while the second puppy was created in the image and likeness of another dog - a six-year-old bitch named Suutuk. Just like her “colleague”, Suutuk most closely fits the description of the Yakut hunting husky.

It is interesting that cooperation between the two scientific centers, NEFU and Sooam is not just a formality. And in the creation of these puppies, and in other Sooam projects, the Yakut people took a direct part, working side by side with South Korean counterparts. Employees and students of NEFU have already been studying in the Seoul center for several years.

Two organizations started their friendship five years ago when they signed an agreement on a project to revive a mammoth and other fossil animals. All this exotic has not yet seen the world, but more familiar dogs, wolves and other creatures in Sooam successfully clone from 2005 year. In December last year, the center gave the Belgian Malinois a tribute to the Yakut University of three cloned dogs as a token of respect, but now it helped in the realization of such an important task for the cultural heritage of the Yakuts.

One of the joint programs of the NEFU and Sooam, on which the scientists are now working together, is the search for genetic markers of the Yakut hunting dogs and other ancient and modern dogs of Northeast Siberia and their comparative analysis with the Eurasian rocks. One of the interesting theses is the possible affinity of native Korean breeds of dogs and Siberian hounds, especially the Yakut one. Now we are collecting biomaterials of modern dogs and extracting DNA from ancient canines, as well as a unique finding - a complete carcass of a puppy that died more than 12 thousand years ago. Remains were found in 2015 year in one of the remote regions of Yakutia. Now the carcass is kept in the Museum of Mammoth NEFU in Yakutsk.


Solemn send-offs of puppies from Seoul to Yakutsk took place 13 June. In the hall were stretched stretch marks with touching "Farewell, Belah and Karacheena! A good trip home! "In English, and the representative of the club" Bayanay "happily posed with puppies on his hands.

Then he still did not know that on arrival they were waiting for attacks and stingy comments that one of the puppies "looks strange" and "has a back that is uncharacteristic for the Yakut hawks". Baby Karacheanae liked the audience much more - it was helped by sharp, raised ears and inquisitive eyes. "You have to understand that Balakh experienced stress: he was born and raised in another place, people around him were around him, and then began - attention, flight, photographers. Hence, such an uncertain position and a drooping look - let him get comfortable! "- commented one of their" creators ", a leading researcher of the international center of collective use" Molecular paleontology "Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North NEFU Lena Grigorieva. Carachena, in her opinion, is still too small, did not have time to get used to the silence of the laboratory and therefore does not feel discomfort from communicating with people. Balakh is older than her for a month and a half - he is now three and a half, and Karacheena is only two.

Despite the entrenched image of Dolly lamb in the society with very poor health, the development of science made it possible to walk away from this stereotype by leaps and bounds. Now cloned animals are not inferior to the "originals", they are also able to learn, are sociable and healthy, give healthy offspring naturally. To the light clones are born due to surrogate mothers, from the eggs of which the genetic material is completely removed and the nucleus of the somatic cell of the donor is being introduced.

"Getting the donor cells, and then embryos, is now pretty easy. But to introduce the embryo of a surrogate mother, and indeed the very process of wearing a clone - this is much more difficult, "- says Lena Grigorieva. The embryo may not settle down, or during a seemingly well-flowing pregnancy, miscarriage may occur. So, the expert points out, when cloning animals, including mammoths, the main problem may be precisely whether the surrogate mother can bear the fetus. In the case of the mammoth, by the way, the cub takes out the elephant. That's why embed cloned embryos at once to several individuals - not everyone can get pregnant. Surrogate mothers are born to save the lives of cloned cubs surgically. Such operations can be done a maximum of two times in life.

Now the head of Sooam, the world-renowned professor Hwang Woo Sok, oversees the construction of the Animal Cloning Center in China. Meanwhile, the Seoul Science Center is the only institution in the world that deals with the commercial cloning of animals in Eurasia. Taking into account the speed and productivity of Chinese work, I wonder what discoveries and how soon we are waiting for us after the opening of the Center in the Middle Kingdom.
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