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Biotech Science

Get the Family Dog Cloned 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the love-them-twice-today dept.
Anonymous writes "Some of you may have seen 'The 6th Day,' the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger a few years back. If you recall there was a 're-pet' cloning service to get your dog back if you ever lost them. Enter 'Best Friends Again': 'A US biotech company on Wednesday announced it will auction off the right for five dog owners to have their furry best friend cloned, with bidding starting at 100,000 dollars. "BioArts International ... will sell five dog cloning service slots to the general public via a worldwide online auction," the California-based biotech start-up said in a statement.'"
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Get the Family Dog Cloned

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  • by Coopjust (872796) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:00AM (#23503242)
    Let's hope that this company has greater success [wired.com] than earlier ones [slashdot.org]...

    (Yeah, I know that the wired article says "Dead cats", but Genetic Savings & Clone was also a dog cloning company)
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:33AM (#23503500) Homepage Journal
    Because I was under the impression that cloning did not account for the individuality of each dog's coat. Another thread mentioned the irritability of a cloned bull but I doubt it was due to the cloning.

    When it comes to dogs; my mother breeds, judges, and shows, a certain purebred; the bulk of good dog / bad dog behavior that owners see is largely governed by how much time the puppy had with its mother. Ideally it should be twelve weeks. This is not saying you can't breed in aggressiveness as it had been done to shepherds and the respectable breeders spent a generations (of dogs) trying to get it out.

    The first few weeks in the care of a new owner will set the new puppy on his path to an individual personality. The key to getting a good dog versus a bad dog is : treat it nicely and give it space. If the new dog needs the reassurance of your company it will seek you out. Don't yell at the dog or around it. The pet is looking for acceptance and if you yell at your kids/spouse/tv etc it will affect the dog. About the "space" item, if a dog wants to get away the let it; provided of course its safe. I have seen more than one puppy returned as a nervous wreck to my parents because one kid or adult in the new owner family simply would not let the dog alone, the interesting side story is that these people took their kid to a psychiatrist who basically told them the kid was not mature enough for a pet but they tried anyway . They have their needs for rest too.

    Am I against cloning pets or animals. Not if its used to protect a breed from extinction. I still would not have much qualms about it being done for the end owner. Now if cloning of pets is done for wholesale retail then that I would is nothing better than having mills. Worse is the number of bitches needed and who are basically abused to deliver the pups (I assume it still requires a womb)

  • Most pet owners have suffered the loss of a very dear and special pet. And while owners would like to keep their dear friend with them forever, very few would actually go so far as to entertain the idea of cloning.

    To most pet lovers, that cherished "once-in-a-lifetime" dog or cat should remain just that. In February of 2004, the AAVS (American Anti-Vivisection Society) commissioned Opinion Research Corporation to conduct a national survey to assess public opinion about cloning pets. Eighty percent of the respondents were not in favor of cloning companion animals or the selling of genetically altered animals as pets. But for the 13% of respondents that are in favor of pet cloning, financial issues may well be the obstacle.

    Genetic Savings & Clone, a gene banking and cloning service for pets, is currently offering to store a treasured pet's genetic material in the hopes that the owner will take advantage of cloning that pet in the future. Currently the cost to "bank" a pet's DNA, or genetic material, with GSC (Genetic Savings & Clone) varies from $295 to $1,395 plus $100-$150 annually for storage fees. The cost for cloning is a different story. According to the GSC website, expect to pay $32,000. And to date they have only been successful with cloning cats.

    Yet, for all of the technology and expense involved, exact replicas of cloned animals are not always produced. In fact, due to unusual genetics, calico cats will rarely produce clones that physically resemble the donor. Cloning opponents contend that an exact replica of a pet is impossible, as training, experience, and environment are keys to an individual's behavior and personality. Even worse animal that have been cloned often have severe health problems, and a short life expectancy.

    The industry is almost totally unregulated and strong opinions on both sides of the cloning issue seek to educate the public about the benefits, or lack thereof, of pet cloning. While tremendous publicity accompanies cloning successes, the public rarely hears about animal cloning failures.

    The greatest publicity surrounds the cloning of pets when actually the majority of cloning is intended for agriculture, biomedical research, and propagation of endangered species. But in all cases, there are potential commercial applications.

    For example, HorseCloning.com will make a clone of your horse for $375,000 per 100 mares implanted plus a patent royalty fee of 15%, based on the estimated value of each clone. According to their web site information, "All sales are final," and "even though no one can guarantee a specific result, you could hit the jackpot." Last but not least, "due to the complexity of the science, results cannot be guaranteed."

    The cloning science is similar in most species, although there are some challenges with the cloning of dogs. Dogs have poorly understood reproductive physiology compared to other species and fewer estrus cycles.

    Basically, the cloning procedure begins with collecting the DNA of the animal to be cloned. The tissue is grown and the cells are preserved while being treated to prevent them from differentiating into a particular cell type (hair, skin, nerve cell).

    Eggs are taken from random females for implantation, and the genetic material from these eggs is removed. Cells and eggs are fused together to become cloned embryos. Surrogate females are then hormonally treated to synchronize their fertile periods and are then implanted with the cloned embryos. In the best scenario, the surrogate pregnancy produces a live, healthy offspring.

    While moral and ethical issues of cloning pets continue to be argued, both sides seem to be closer concerning the problem of endangered species. Betty Dresser, Director of the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans says, "Saving habitat may not be enough. Any tool for saving endangered species is important. Cloning is just another reproductive tool, like in-vitro

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <(tms) (at) (infamous.net)> on Thursday May 22, 2008 @09:36AM (#23504282) Homepage

    Yep, it would be better just to have two dogs and let them have puppies or something.

    No. It would be better to just adopt a dog. There is a massive overpopulation problem for dogs and cats, with over three million killed in shelters every year for lack of a home.

    Please please please please please please spay or neuter, and don't patronize breeders.

  • by Beerden (874601) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @09:56AM (#23504550)
    I have a rudimentary understanding of genetics, but I understand that telomeres are shortened with each cell division, and when they run out, no more cell division can occur. Essentially this is "old age". When an old dog is cloned, how long will the cloned puppy live? Until the telomeres can be lengthened before the initial cell division begins in the new lifeform, this seems like a cruel service. When we figure out how to lengthen telomeres in dogs, then we've pretty much got longevity treatments for humans, who can then live hundreds of years, and then not many people will be as concerned with cloning dogs as they will be about lengthening their lives.
  • by tobiasly (524456) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:13PM (#23509648) Homepage

    What about diet, etc? Diet is a major part of the metabolic pathway that goes into the smell of urine. Your dogs metabolism will change throughout its life so if it were alive it wouldn't thing the clone was it.

    You're thinking like a human. :) We are very far away from understanding how dogs process smell. For one thing it's very difficult for us to comprehend the concept of smell being the dominant sense.

    I read as an example somewhere to consider a pot of chili cooking on the stove. To us humans it smells like a pot of chili. To a dog, it smells like ground beef, tomatoes, individual spices, etc. They can pick out each individual ingredient by its smell, even after they're combined.

    That's why you can't fool a drug-sniffing dog by covering your stash with dryer sheets. It doesn't mask the smell, it just adds another one. The same with their urine; there are parts of it that are affected by their diet and metabolism but part that is also very unique to that dog.

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