Meet Toppy. All five of them. "Toppy", which is a combination of the words "Tomorrow" and "Puppy" is the name of seven dogs that are the first dogs genetically cloned to be drug and bomb-sniffing dogs.
Because of the high cost of training dogs to be drug or bomb-sniffing dogs, and because a huge number of the dogs do not have the ability to succeed at these tasks, scientists in South Korea cloned a succesfful drug sniffing animal in hopes of more inexpensively creating more, genetically identical drug/bomb sniffing dogs. In February, all seven dogs passed a behavior test aimed at finding whether they were genetically qualified to work as sniffing dogs. only about 10-15% of naturally born dogs pass this test.
The dogs still need to be tested for physical strength, concentration and sniffing ability and after a year of training, will potentially go to work throughout South Korea.
I'm not going to go into a rant about how unethical I feel like this is, especially as I live in a country where we kill over 5 million dogs. I'm also not the biggest fan of "playing God" here. That said, I am fascinated by what can be learned from the process about how much of an aninmal's character/skills is completely genetic, and how much still needs to be taught. Based solely on this article, it looks like the puppies only have the skills and temperaments necessary to be good bomb/drug-sniffing dogs, but still have to go through the necessary training to make those skills useful.
This would help prove a lot in the nature vs nurture arguments in other types of dogs.
You can read more about the story here.
Hat Tip to PSFK.