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World's first IVF puppies born

Thursday December 10th 2015

A litter of puppies has been born through IVF treatment for the first time after several unsuccessful attempts.

Scientists at Cornell University in the US implanted frozen embryos in a surrogate dog mother using techniques similar to those used in human fertility clinics.

The female dog gave birth to seven beagle and cross-bred beagle-cocker spaniel puppies. They were all from the same litter but have three sets of parents.

The researchers say the breakthrough could help to conserve endangered breeds such as the African wild dog, as well prevent genetic disorders in both animals and humans.

Dogs share many diseases with humans - almost twice as many as for any other species - which is why the research has been hailed as a "major step forward" in veterinary and human medicine.

In the past, scientists have experienced problems with freezing embryos, but they now say they have perfected the technique.

The research was published in the journal PLoS One.

Copyright Press Association 2015