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Biotech Science

Get the Family Dog Cloned 240

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 apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:09AM (#23503302) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, except that there is no such thing as a "soul".


    Basically, we don't have mind or memory transfers, we don't even know how memories are stored in the brain.

    So even if you get a genetically identical pet, it isn't going to be the same animal, it won't have the same memories etc.

    Fuck that, don't waste your cash, get another dog. One from a pound perhaps.
  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:13AM (#23503324)
    There's also the problem of genotype vs phenotype. Fido's genes may be expressed differently the next go-round, leading to subtle or possibly not-so-subtle differences. And as you intimated, how the clone is raised will be just as important as its genes.

    But Fido could be brought back once we perfect that brain-scanning thingy in the 6th Day movie. Genotype, phenotype, and, uh...brainotype would be so close to the original Fido, that Fido 2.0 would seem almost identical. But without the scanner doohicky, Fido 2.0 will be just another dog.
  • by Optikschmoptik ( 971793 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:13AM (#23503328) Homepage

    I saw them try this with a bull in the first TV episode of This American Life. The results were not good.

    Synopsis: The original bull was nice. The cloned bull was irritable, short-tempered and just not quite right. Also, he kicked the owner in the balls.

    I suppose you could just take from that the irony that the cloned animal managed to block its cloner's own ability to reproduce conventionally. But you could also just note that cloned bull was really ugly. You probably won't get what you wanted, unless you delude yourself into thinking you have it.

  • Re:dead puppies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:31AM (#23503484) Journal
    I dunno - how many non-viable fertilizations, blastocysts, embryos and fetuses and indeed 'babies' (stillborn) does it take to produce a successful one?

    (Can you tell I am totally against human reproduction?)
  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:33AM (#23503504) Homepage Journal
    First thing: yes, we actually do have some limited understanding of how memories are stored in the brain []. Are you suggesting the reverse as well, that if we somehow developed memory-transfer technology (still far off, though not outside the realm of possibility) that we could bring our deceased Fido back to life?

    What about a dead friend, relative, spouse, etc.? Do you think the same owuld be true?

    Disclosure: I happen to believe in the existence of a soul, but perhaps not in the way a typical Judaeo-Christian does.

  • Re:Not lossless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ejecta ( 1167015 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:36AM (#23503532)
    Between the loss of genetic material, the DNA process perhaps generating a slightly different gene structure and the different upbringing & environment I think the end result is going to be an animal that brings more sadness than joy if a persons reasons are solely to replace a lost pet.

    I'm honestly struggling to see why someone would really want to clone a domestic animal, even whizz bang rare breed 5.0 would produce better offspring being bred with a similiar stud rather than it's own clone if the persons goal was generating offspring and lets face it, if you can drop $100K on a clone you can afford stud fees for breeding with a real animal.
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:43AM (#23503596)
    "Your pet doesn't want to break your heart and now he doesn't have to."
    Here is where the reality kicks in. We may be hearing a similar slogan very, very soon. The Financial Times informs us that the first commercial sale of a pet cloning deal has been made. A disabled woman from California, has decided to give the South Korean company RNL Bio, the contract to clone her recently deceased Pitbull Terrier named Booger. The woman has trouble walking, and besides the love she has for Booger, she also misses all the help the hound provided.

    Scientists in the United States are preparing to send cells from Booger to Korea, where RNL Bio will assist a Seoul National University team, in placing these cells into surrogate mother dogs. If successful, Booger II will be born this coming October. So what will this second chance at life cost? Because the woman has agreed to make the event public, she has recieved a sale price of $50 000 USD. RNL Bio says the cost for anyone wanting to purchase the same procedure will be $150 000 USD. They are projecting the ability to clone 100 dogs next year, which will eventually lead to 500 per year.

    The SNU team undertaking the project was responsible for creating Snuppy, the first cloned dog, in 2005. Some doubt surrounded the disclosure of this feat, as the team leader Hwang Woo-suk, was accused of falsifying research regarding the successful cloning of the first human stem cells. However, an investigation into the matter of Snuppy, proved that he was in fact a genuine clone.

    So a $50 000 USD clone is possible as long as you are willing to "make the event public".
    And this was two or three months ago.

  • Re:Bad idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @08:58AM (#23503802) Homepage
    Maybe if we just had cloned dogs, and made all dogs sterile, we wouldn't have such a problem with the dog population.
  • by mdmkolbe ( 944892 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @09:06AM (#23503904)

    There's also the problem of genotype vs phenotype. Fido's genes may be expressed differently the next go-round, leading to subtle or possibly not-so-subtle differences.

    As an example, I know two women who are identical twins, but because the split was so early, they developed in two different placental sacks (*) which means they don't look like identical twins. They look very similar, but only as much as two sisters might.

    They have the same genes, but their phenotypes are definitely not identical.

    (*) That's how they explained it to me, but I might have misunderstood or misremembered.

  • by tobiasly ( 524456 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @10:53AM (#23505404) Homepage

    What I'm curious about is whether the cloned dog will smell exactly like the original to other dogs. Scent is more important to dogs than sight; that butt-sniffing ritual they perform when they meet each other lets them remember each other for a long time. Smelling another dog's urine will let a dog know who the other dog was, whether it was male/female (and if the latter, where it was in its menses), whether it was sick, etc.

    So if I cloned Aloysius, would my other dogs think the new dog was him? If I cloned him while he was alive, would he think he was smelling himself?

  • by linuxpyro ( 680927 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @11:53AM (#23506432)
    That's true of any cat, actually.

    On the other hand, check this [] out.
  • All I want (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xrobertcmx ( 802547 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @12:41PM (#23507170) Journal
    Is a dog with a much longer lifespan. I really don't like to think that my little dog will only live 13 to 17 years, but a friend of mines bird will probably out live all of us 30 somethings.

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