World's first IVF puppies born to beagle surrogate

LOS ANGELES -- A team of veterinarians, scientists and lab workers gathered around a surrogate hound and watched her give birth to seven half-pound puppies, the first dogs ever conceived in a test tube.

See Full Article

"We each took a puppy and rubbed it with a little towel and when it started to squiggle and cry, we knew we had success," said Dr. Alexander Travis, who runs the lab at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York.

"Their eyes were closed. They were just adorable, cute, with smooshed-in faces. We checked them to make sure they looked normal and were all breathing," he said.

The puppies born July 10 are a mix of beagle, Labrador and cocker spaniel and are now healthy 5-month-olds, Travis said. All but one female were adopted. She's being kept by the lab to have her own litter.

The lab kept track of the puppies by painting their nails with different color polish. Travis adopted two, still known by their nail polish names, Red and Green.

In vitro fertilization, the process of fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body, is widely used to assist human reproduction these days. The first human birth from IVF took place in 1978.

But IVF efforts with dogs repeatedly failed until now, according to Dr. Pierre Comizzoli, a reproductive physiologist for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, which works with Cornell.

"The biology of the dog is really, really different than humans," Comizzoli said. Dog pregnancies last only two months and females go into heat just once or twice a year, releasing immature eggs instead of mature eggs needed for IVF.

An earlier experiment at Cornell helped pave the way. In 2013 at Cornell, Klondike became the first puppy born from a frozen embryo. Klondike's beagle mother was fertilized using artificial insemination. Her embryos were collected, frozen and implanted in Klondike's surrogate mother.

Comizzoli described the birth of the seven puppies "as a huge breakthrough."

A paper describing the Cornell litter as "the first live births from in vitro fertilized embryos in the dog" appeared Tuesday in the PLOS ONE journal. The lead author, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute doctoral fellow Jennifer Nagashima, said IVF technology in dogs could prove useful in everything from conserving endangered species to removing "deleterious traits from breeds," with research potentially applicable to "models for human disease" as well.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • New research suggests winds of change blow even for black holes

    Tech & Science CTV News
    EDMONTON -- The winds of change blow, even around a black hole. New Canadian-led research has peered into the strange world of black holes to discover they're girded by electromagnetic winds that not only influence how the super-dense interstellar bodies gobble up anything that gets too close but also how they affect vast areas of space around them. Source
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Canada for the first time

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Apple chief executive Tim Cook is visiting Canada for the first time since taking the reins at the tech giant, stopping in for an unannounced appearance with Toronto students to promote the company's initiative to focus on coding education. Source
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook makes 1st visit to Canada, visits Toronto students

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO - Apple chief executive Tim Cook is visiting Canada for the first time, stopping in for an unannounced appearance with Toronto students to promote the company's initiative to focus on coding education. Cook, who surprised a class of children taking coding lessons at Apple's Eaton Centre location, says he could feel the creativity and diversity Canada has to offer as soon as he stepped off the plane. Source
  • Tim Cook makes 1st visit to Canada as Apple CEO, visits Toronto students

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO -- Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook visited Canada for the first time as CEO Monday, surprising students at a downtown Toronto Apple store to highlight the importance of learning to code, and dropping in on a group of developers to thank them for their contributions to the tech giant's app store. Source
  • New 508-million-year-old bristle worm found in B.C.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO - A new fossil species of bristle worm has been found at the 508-million-year-old Marble Canyon site in B.C.'s Kootenay National Park. The worm found at the Burgess Shale site is helping scientists better understand analids, which include present-day leeches and earthworms. Source
  • New 508-million-year-old fossil found at B.C.'s Burgess Shale

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO -- A new fossil species of bristle worm has been found at the 508-million-year-old Marble Canyon site in B.C.'s Kootenay National Park. The worm, found by researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto, is called Kootenayscolex barbarensis. Source
  • More than 500 fossils of new ancient worm species found in B.C.

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Roughly 508 million years ago, this bristly worm roamed the waters of what is now British Columbia. Now, the newly identified species of ancient worm is helping researchers unravel an ancient mystery. Meet Kootenayscolex barbarensis, a new species of bristle worm. Source
  • Tesla to install Atlantic Canada 'supercharger' stations for its vehicles

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Tesla Inc. is building fast-charging stations for its electric vehicles in Atlantic Canada, opening up the East Coast to road trippers with the California automaker's high-end plug-in cars. The company has plans to set up dozens of new "supercharger" stations across Canada, including seven in the Maritimes — five in New Brunswick and two in Nova Scotia — by the end of 2018. Source
  • Liberals spending $50M to help students K-12 code

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The Liberal government is following up on a 2017 budget promise to spend $50 million to help children learn to code as soon as they start school. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government's new CanCode program, which hopes to train students from kindergarten to Grade 12 on coding and other digital skills, during a stop at Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont. Source
  • Liberals spending $50M to teach K-12 students and their teachers coding

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The Liberal government is following up on a 2017 budget promise to spend $50 million to help children learn to code as soon as they start school. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government's new CanCode program, which hopes to train students from kindergarten to Grade 12 on coding and other digital skills, during a stop at Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont. Source