NEWS AT SOOAM BRF
05/17/2014 05/17/2014 (Article) Metrople in Brazil
05/14 05/2014 (Article) Super Interessante in Brazil
April 9, 2014 "The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man's Best Friend" on Channel 4 U.K.
 
 
“The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man’s Best Friend” on Channel 4 U.K.
 
Channel 4 in the U.K. aired a one-off documentary program about the U.K.’s first dog cloning competition and its winner at 10 pm on April 9, 2014.
 
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the competition.
This competition was not about selecting the most clone-worthy dog.
Our intention was to raise public awareness about dog cloning technology in the U.K..
The participants’ passion and love towards their dogs have surpassed our expectations.
 
We learned many things from our trip to the U.K., and we sincerely hope that all those who participated were able to enjoy the experience as well.
So thank you again, and hopefully we can return to the U.K. in the near future.

March 15, 2013 "Mammoth: Back from the Dead" on Nat Geo TV
National Geographic Channel is broadcasting a one hour documentary program named “Mammoth: Back From the Dead” on April 12th at 8 pm ET/PT in the U.S. The program is about a team of international scientist looking for mammoth remains in Siberia led by researchers at Sooam in collaboration with North-Eastern Federal University of Russia. Below is the press release from National Geographic Channel.
 
More information about the program can also be found on the following link:
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/a-night-of-exploration/episodes/mammoth-back-from-the-dead/


March 15, 2013 Sooam Will Collaborate With BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute)

Representatives from BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute), one of the world’s leading genome sequencing centers, visited Sooam to seek opportunities for collaboration. One of the representatives from BGI was Dr. Huanming Yang, President of the institute. Both parties agreed that there are many aspects of cloning that would require collaboration for further study. During the visit, Dr. Yang also presented Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, CTO of the institute, with certificate of appointment as a member of the Academic Committee. The research collaboration is expected to begin in the near future.

Feb, 27. 2013 Completion of Internship Program for International Student. (Jean-Philippe Perrier From France)
Jean-Philippe Perrier was the first international student from France who successfully completed his 4 months of internship program at Sooam. According to him, Sooam’s program helped a lot to expand his scope of knowledge in biotechnology, especially in advanced cloning technology, which he was unable to witness in his country or in the EU. He acquired experience on many aspects of biotechnology such as SCNT(Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer), handling skills for oocytes and cells, and routine laboratory techniques such as electrophoresis, Western blot Spectrophotometry, PCR, and DNA and protein extraction, etc. Also he had opportunity to experience the differences of the cloning protocol among species and was able to observe all the works carried out on dog cloning too.


                  Jean-Philippe Perrier completed his internship at Sooam
Dec, 26. 2012 Sooam Contributed 2 Cloned Rescue Dogs for National 119 Rescue Service. Sooam Signed a MOU with National 119 Rescue Service.
Sooam contributed two cloned dogs named Raccoons to National 119 Rescue Service. These dogs will be trained for 2 years by handlers in National 119 Rescue Service. After 2 years of training, they will serve as rescue dogs in various situations. On the same day, Sooam signed a MOU with National 119 Rescue Service for preserving excellent pedigree rescue dogs by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer cloning technology. This will be keeping the excellent pedigree rescue dogs for purpose of better training success rate and shortened duration of acquiring them.


 
                         Sooam signed a MOU with National 119 Emergency Service.

 
  Sooam contributed 2 cloned Rescue dogs for National 119 Emergency Service.
Dec, 8. 2012 Completion ceremony of internship program for High School Student from Guro District,Seoul.(2012 Fall term)
All 16 student from different high school in Guro Disctrict,Seoul has been completed their internship which has begun from 15th of September and ended at 30th of June,2012. A selected number of students from high school in Guro District had the opportunity to learn the fundamental of biotechnology and its understanding. Also they had a chance to learn basic laboratory skills which they were unable to reach from high school classroom. Their high school teachers and parents praised highly for Sooam’s contribution to give them education and encouragement to be the future scientists.


                   Completion Ceremony for Internship program at 8th of December

 
       Internship students are learning the basic laboratory skills at Sooam
June, 30. 2012 Completion of Internship Program for High School Student in Guro District, Seoul. (2012 Spring Term)

A selected number of high school students in Guro District have completed their internship program at Sooam Biotech Research Foundation. 16 students from different high school in Guro District started their internship program from 14th of April and ended at 30th of June. They had the chance to attend lectures from professional researchers at Sooam and receive hands-on education in basic laboratory skills and experiments. This opportunity has hopefully broadened their knowledge and understanding of biotechnology. The program was initiated in collaboration with the Guro District Office as Sooam’s contribution to society and training of young future scientists.


                    Completion ceremony for Internship program in spring term.

         Internship students with their radiant smiles after completion ceremony
May 21, 2012 Sooam in the 2nd Episode of 'I Cloned My Pet'
Sooam’s dog cloning technology was featured in the 2nd episode of ‘I Cloned My Pet’ for TLC / Discovery on May 21, 2012 at 9 pm ET in the U.S. It came a little more than 4 months after the first episode was aired in January.
 
Three clones of Bob were born at Sooam in 2012. One clone of Lancelot was born at Sooam in 2008. They were both featured in this episode of the documentary series, which was produced by CB Films in London for TLC / Discovery channel in America.



                                             Sooam’s new facility in Seoul.

 
                       Sooam’s researcher performing nuclear transfer.

 
 

                Three clones of Bob born from the same surrogate mother.
March 5, 2012 Embryonic Stem Cell Conditioned Media Patent in New Zealand
  The New Zealand Intellectual Property Office recently issued a patent regarding the conditioned media used for culturing embryonic stem cells. The title of the invention is called “Embryonic Stem Cell Line and Method for Preparing the Same.” The patent was filed in December 2009 and finally registered in March this year. The conditioned media had already been registered as a patent under the same name in the EU in 2010. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office had issued a patent last year for the SCNT-1 line established by Dr. Woo Suk Hwang in 2004. The new patents from New Zealand as well as the already established patents from the EU and Canada are expected to influence the decisions by intellectual property offices in many other countries in which the same invention is waiting for acceptance.



 



New Zealand Patent








EU Patent issued in 2010
March. 13, 2012 Korea-Russia Mammoth Restoration Agreement
Korea-Russia Mammoth Restoration
Research Collaboration Agreement
Press Release
____________________________________________________________
 
1. Contents of the Agreement
 
Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Korea and North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Sakha Republic, Russia have agreed to hold an international symposium for mammoth restoration on the 12th of March, 2012 and sign a collaborative research agreement the next day (March 13, 2012). The agreement was signed at Sooam’s research facility in Seoul (2 pm local time) and is expected to open up a new era of academic exchange between Sakha Republic of Russia and Korea. In essence, tissue samples from Russia will be brought to Korea for the utilization of Sooam’s advance animal cloning technology. The details are as follows:
 
-      NEFU will provide Sooam with biological samples from the mammoth and other ancient animal remains starting in 2012 and as soon as authorization documents for their export are completed in Russia.
-      NEFU and Sooam will collaborate on future expeditions for the collection of biological samples from mammoth remains. Sooam will be responsible for setting up a mobile laboratory near the site of where the mammoth remains are discovered.
-      Sooam will transfer its exclusive expertise and technology on animal cloning to Russian scientists, who will be trained and educated at Sooam’s laboratory in Korea to facilitate the transfer. Russian scientists from NEFU will be sent to Sooam every year starting in 2012.
-      NEFU will establish a laboratory in its campus for the study of ancient animals’ genome.
 
The agreement was signed between Dr. Woo Suk Hwang (CTO) representing Sooam Biotech Research Foundation and Prof. Vasily Vasilyev (First Vice-Rector) representing NEFU under the consent of Rector Evgeniya I. Mikhailova.
 
2. Short-Term Plan
 
- Sooam will initiate the mammoth cell restoration project in 2012 from tissue samples collected and exported by NEFU.
- If additional mammoth remains are found, cell culture experts from Sooam will be deployed in the field near the excavation site for immediate cell restoration attempt.
- When the cells are successfully restored, various genetic, cellular, and molecular studies will be performed for validation in collaboration with other international research institutes.
 
3. Developement
 
On Dec. 15, 2011, delegation from NEFU in Sakha Republic attended the opening ceremony of the mammoth exhibition in Seoul organized by Korea-Sakha Mammoth Committee. The NEFU delegation included Rector E.I. Mikhailova, Director of Institute of Applied Ecology of the North Dr. Savvinov, and Dr. Fedorov and Dr. Grigoriev from the Mammoth Museum. They had already heard of Dr. Woo Suk Hwang’s world-class technology in animal cloning, but had made up their mind to suggest collaboration in mammoth restoration research after watching a news report on Russian NTV of Dr. Hwang’s successful interspecies cloning of coyotes using eggs from domestic dogs. Cloning in canines are considered to be the most difficult to achieve, but the cloning of coyotes took the technology one step further by using donor cells and eggs from two different species.
 
 
4. Significance
 
- NEFU has already been working with the Japanese for over 10 years on the mammoth restoration project, but an official agreement between the two parties has not been established yet. This shows that NEFU appreciates Sooam’s advanced animal cloning technology recently culminated in the successful interspecies cloning of coyotes.
- The fact that Russian scientists want to be trained and educated at Sooam in the field of bioengineering as a part of this agreement implies that Russia, which has one of the strongest natural science foundations in the world, acknowledges Sooam’s world-class technology.  
 
5. Cloning of Mammoth
 
Establish donor cell line from mammoth remains à remove the nucleus from Indian elephant oocytes à fuse donor cell from mammoth and enucleated elephant oocyte to produce cloned mammoth embryo à transfer embryo into a surrogate Indian elephant à 22 months of gestation à birth of cloned mammoth
 
<Mammoth Restoration Scheme>

The most important matter in the current stage of research is collaborating with Russian scientists to find the best preserved mammoth remain and collect soft tissue samples from it.
 
6. Background Info
 
- Sakha Republic and Mammoth

 
<Map, Wikipedia ‘Sakha Republic,' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakha_Republic>



NEFU is the largest institute of higher education not only in Sakha Republic, but also in the whole north-eastern part of Russia. The Institute of Applied Ecology of the North in NEFU is actively pursuing research on mammoth remains. They are experts in excavating mammoth remains without causing damage after expeditions that can take months. The combination of their research on the permafrost soil and anthropology and research on not only mammoth remains, but also on other ancient animals including rhinos, bison, elks, and horses makes NEFU a leading institution in applied ecology. NEFU also built a mammoth museum, providing opportunities for all people to witness the existence of the ancient animal.Among all unique mammoth fauna fossils discovered in the world, 80-90% is from the Sakha Republic. And the number is increasing due to global warming. Over the last three years, 9 remains of ancient animals were discovered in Sakha. Two of them were mammoths, and the rest included bison, horses, rhinos. Seven were discovered near the Yana River, and the remains are being consistently discovered after 2002. The permafrost layer of Sakha is especially advantageous for preservation of the remains. Most of the remains showed well preserved soft tissue including skin, internal organs, and hair. Using samples from these remains, genetic and molecular analysis would become possible along with the idea of using somatic cell nuclear transfer technique to restore the mammoth.


Dr. Woo Suk Hwang representing Sooam and Prof. Vasily Vasilyev representing NEFU.


 

Dr. Woo Suk Hwang and Russian delegation during visit to Sooam’s new facility for the signing of the agreement.

Delegations from Russia and Sooam during cake-cutting ceremony.



March. 12, 2012 The 1st Russia-Korea International Symposium for Mammoth Restoration

Hosted by Incheon Metropolitan City and organized by Korea-Sakha Mammoth Committee and Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, the 1st Russia-Korea International Symposium for Mammoth Restoration was held at Special Exhibition Center in Jamsil Sports Complex. The event started with an opening address from Young-Gil Song, the Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City. Congratulatory remarks were made by Konstantin Vnukov, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Korea and Sang-Chul Park, the CEO of Taein Construction Inc.

 

Prof. Vasily Vasilyev, the 1st Vice-Rector of North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Sakha Republic, Russia, and Prof. Grigory Savvinov, the Director of Applied Ecology of the North at NEFU, attended the symposium as chairmen from Russia. Prof. Kidong Bae from Hanyang University and Prof. Eui-Bae Jeung from Chungbuk National University attended the event as chairmen from Korea.

 

The first speaker was Dr. Semen Grigorev, the Senior Researcher of Mammoth Museum in NEFU, who talked about the finds of frozen carcasses of ancient animals in Yakutia for the last three years and the prospects of its research in the recent molecular-genetic investigations.

 

The second speaker was Dr. Sergei Fedorov, the Chief of Exposition Hall at Mammoth Museum, who talked about the cemetery of the mammoths “Muus-Khaya” on the river Yana and the role of the ancient men in its formation.

 

The third speaker was Dr. Jin-Kyoung Kim from Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute, who talked about a preliminary study of the first mammoth molar discovered in the Yellow Sea, Korea.

 

The fourth speaker was Prof. Ducksoo Kang from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who talked about the Sakha civilization from the historical perspective.

 

The fifth speaker was Dr. Petr Danilov from NEFU, who talked about palaeosoils as one of the main components of mammoth environment in north-eastern Asia.

 

The sixth speaker was Prof. Aksentiy Dmitriev from NEFU who talked about the role of the Russian Geographical Society in the research of mammoth fauna in north-eastern Russia.

 

The seventh speaker was Prof. Emeritus Il-Suk Yang from Seoul National University, who talked about the possibility of using modern elephants as surrogates for cloning of mammoth.

 

The eighth speaker was Dr. Taeyoung Shin from Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, who talked about restoration and reconstruction of Woolly Mammoth by interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer.

 

The ninth speaker was Prof. Kidong Bae from Hanyang University, who talked about mammoth and human migration in upper Pleistocene in the Korean peninsula.

 

The symposium ended with a banquet that celebrated Prof. Ducksoo Kang’s new book “Yakutia.”

 

The symposium was a huge success with more than 200 people in attendance. The event was considered to be a turning point for facilitated exchange of academic information regarding restoration of mammoth and other ancient animals between the scientists from Russia and Korea.
 




  
Delegations and participants from Russia and Korea.
 

 


Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, Young-Gil Song, making an opening address.




Vice President Dr. Taeyoung Shin from Sooam during presentation.


Jan. 11, 2012 Sooam in TLC/Discovery Show 'I Cloned My Pet'
The 1st episode of TLC/Discovery’s new show ‘I Cloned My Pet,’ in which Sooam played a major role, was premiered on Jan. 11, 2012 at 9 pm ET in the U.S.A.
 
The show was about people being able to realize their dreams of reuniting with their lost beloved ones with the help of Sooam’s advanced technology in dog cloning.  
 
The show is expected to air 5 more times on TLC/Discovery on the 15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th of January. For more details on the program, visit http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/i-cloned-my-pet/about-i-cloned-my-pet.htm.


Sooam’s previous facility in Yongin.


Healthy cloned puppy.


Dr. Woo Suk Hwang explaining the cloning process.
Oct. 17, 2011 Adoption ceremony for coyotes held at Gyeonggi-do Wild Animal Rescue Center

The coyotes had been living at Sooam for about four months when they were adopted to their new home at Gyeonggi-do Wild Animal Rescue Center in the presence of both Governor Kim, Moon Soo and Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk. Three female coyotes and five male coyotes had been cloned by researchers at Sooam Biotech Research Foundation under funding and support by Gyeonggi Province.

The successful cloning of coyotes was performed through interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) technique. Somatic cells from adult coyotes (scientific name: Canis latrans) were injected into and fused with eggs of domestic dogs (scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris / dingo) for reconstruction of interspecies embryos. These embryos were then transferred into domestic dog surrogates, who in turn gave birth to cloned coyotes. This was not only the first successful cloning of coyotes in the world, but also the first successful interspecies cloning in the Canidae family.

The achievement is only a beginning to an extended effort to preserve and rescue endangered species in the Canidae family. Researchers at Sooam remain optimistic that more canine species in the wild can be cloned with the application of iSCNT technique that utilizes more readily available domestic dog eggs.
 


Female coyotes born on June 17, 2011.

 


Governor Kim, Moon Soo and Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk holding a male coyote during the adoption ceremony.

 


Various representatives from Gyeonggi Province and Sooam holding male coyotes.

July 28, 2011 A paper was published supporting the authenticity of SCNT-1 line.
Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk and his research team at Seoul National University announced through Science Magazine in 2004 that the world’s first patient-specific human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line derived from SCNT was established. However, this announcement became the center of controversy when the Seoul National University Investigation Committee (SNUIC) claimed that the SCNT-hES-1 line was derived from parthenogenesis. Since then, many other studies have drawn different conclusion about the actual origin of the SCNT-hES-1 line.

Seven years later, a research team led by Prof. Jeung, Eui-Bae at Chungbuk National University in Korea published a paper in the International Journal of Moecular Medicine journal indicating that the SCNT-hES-1 line established by Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk in 2004 was indeed derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The study compared the expression and methylation patterns of imprinted genes in the SCNT-hES-1 cells with those of the donor’s somatic cells through semi-quantitative RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and bisulfite sequencing. Results obtained in the research provided evidence to the SCNT characteristics of the SCNT-hES-1 line and are expected to give new insights to the controversy surrounding the authenticity of the pluripotent hES cell line.



The paper is available at the following URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21837357
July 26, 2011 A SCNT-1 line patent is issued in Canada.
Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk and his research team at Seoul National University announced through Science Magazine in 2004 that the world’s first patient-specific human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line derived from SCNT was established. However, this announcement became the center of controversy when the Seoul National University Investigation Committee (SNUIC) claimed that the SCNT-hES-1 line was derived from parthenogenesis. Since then, many other studies have drawn different conclusion about the actual origin of the SCNT-hES-1 line.

Recently, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) issued a patent regarding the SCNT-1 line and the methods for preparing it. The title of the invention is called “Embryonic Stem Cell Line and Method for Preparing the Same.” The announcement of acceptance came after more than five years of strict validation by CIPO since the patent&rsquos filing date in 2006. This is expected to influence the decisions by intellectual property offices in many other countries in which the same invention is waiting for acceptance. Also, the registration of SCNT-1 patent is expected to provide new insights to the controversy surrounding the authenticity the pluripotent hES cell line


 


More information about the patent is available at the following URL: http://brevets-patents.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/patent/2551266/summary.html?type=number_search
July 6, 2011 Sooam registered a dog cloning patent.
Sooam successfully registered a dog cloning related patent with the title of "Methods for increasing cloning efficiency of animals in the Canidae family" in Korea. Through a strict validation process of the invention for almost two years since its filing date, the invention was finally registered. The invention will remain as a written proof of Sooam's superior dog cloning techniques and will hopefully be applied to many other species in the Canidae family.


Certificate of patent
July 1, 2011 Adoption ceremony of five Jurorong clones.
The adoption ceremony took place at Sooam with the attendance of President Yoon from Sungduk University. All of the clones were 5 months old. They were born with perfect health and were raised under the gentle care of Sooam scientists. Over the past 5 months they had become a part of the Sooam family as well. We wish that all the Joororongs will live long and happy lives with endless love as new members of the Sungduk University family. Before they were handed over to President Yoon, silk string clusters were hung on their necks, which means wishing for long and happy lives in Korea. We also wish that these dogs will remind college students about the monumental story of scientific breakthrough and motivate them to respect every life form.

 

(Top Left) Silk strings were hung on Jurorongs' necks
to wish for their long and happy lives.
(Top Right) Dr. Hwang, Woo Suk with President Yoon.
(Bottom) Sooam researchers sending off Jurorongs.
June 16, 2011 Seven transgenic beagles were born.
Seven transgenic beagles were born from the same mother through artificial insemination. Three were female and four were male. Both parents were also Alzheimer's transgenic disease model dogs. The newborns are currently being raised by their mother. These puppies are expected to have a great impact in science if germline transmission of Alzheimer's disease is validated and confirmed.


(Picture) Seven newborns suckling.
June 10, 2011 Sooam signed a research agreement with Gyeonggi Province.
Sooam signed a research agreement with the Gyeonggi Province for collaborative research on endangered species cloning. This agreement allows Sooam to obtain somatic cells from endangered species and use them to deliver cloned endangered animals.


 
(Left) Dr. Hwang Woo Suk with Governor Kim Moon-Soo.
(Right) Representative from Sooam with Governor Kim Moon Soo.
From left, Prof. Yang Il Suk, Dr. Hwang Woo Suk,
Governor Kim Moon Soo, Prof.
Jeung Eui Bae, Prof. Hyun Sang Hwan.
May 1, 2011 Sooam signed a national R&D project agreement.
Sooam signed an agreement with the Rural Development Administration of Korea for a national R&D project titled "Delivery of Transgenic Cow for Production of Interferon."


Interferon transgenic embryo transfer by Dr. Hwang Woo Suk.
June 18, 2010 Groundbreaking ceremony for Sooam's new facility
Sooam BRF had a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the construction of its new facility in Seoul. The new facility in Seoul will be located in Guro and will be about ten times bigger than Sooam's current facility at Yongin. Hundreds of people from all over Korea came and congratulated the event. Relocation is expected to take place sometime during late November, 2011.



Bird's eye view of Sooam's new facility.



Construction progress as of July, 2011.