May
22
2008

Cloning goes to the dogs: Recreate Fido for a mere $100,000 or more

You want to do what with my DNA?: A California company is auctioning off the rights to make clones of the dogs of the five highest online bidders.
You want to do what with my DNA?: A California company is auctioning off the rights to make clones of the dogs of the five highest online bidders.Courtesy monkeyc.net
A man’s best friend could become a permanent best friend under a proposal being floated by a California company. BioArts International is offering to clone the dogs of the five highest bidders, guaranteeing that they’ll always have some version of their favorite pet throughout their life.

But before you get too excited, it won’t be cheap. Opening bid prices are $100,000. And the chief cloner is scientist from South Korea who was discredited by having faked research in an earlier cloning project. The research team has already made three cloned dogs from the DNA of dog from BioArts’ CEO. The original dog, Missy, died in 2002.

There are plenty of issues to chew on this ethical bone. The fervent anti-cloners fear that this could be the first step in human cloning. If people are willing to pony up the dough to duplicate a favorite pet, wouldn’t that stoke the fires for creating a duplicate of a favorite baby or child?

On the flip side, pro-cloners say why not continue to give people the joy and pleasures they receive from a favorite pet even after its lifetime ends.

The BioArts CEO vouches for the effectiveness of dog cloning. Missy’s clones exhibit much of the same behavioral characteristics he saw in Missy. You've got some time to round up the cash if you want to do this to your dog. The auction begins on June 18. More details are hear at the BioArts website.

So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Would you like to clone your dog? Is so, how much would you be willing to pay? Share your thoughts here with other Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Max's picture
Max says:

Thor, I don't see animal cloning as a slippery slope to human cloning, any more than I see eating hamburgers as a slippery slope to cannibalism. People make a pretty clear moral distinction between animals and humans. As for the "pro-cloning" crowd, speaking for myself I think cloning is interesting but mostly I'm "pro-choice," meaning I'm happy that research and innovation yield new technologies that help us make the best of our world. Cloning means that if I've had a dozen dogs of various breeds and mixes during my lifetime, and a particular neutered mutt I rescued from a shelter is my favorite mix of all, I can have another dog some day with exactly the same mix! It seems like most cloning critics are convinced I'm deluded into thinking that cloning is going to bring my beloved mutt back to life, but that's baloney. A collie lover who gets a new collie knows it's not the same dog -- he just likes collies best! Well I like this particular mutt-mix best, and I'm not deluded about cloning at all -- the whole point of it is that it results in another animal of the same genetic mix. So if that's what you want, and you can afford it, my answer to your question is: yeah it's a good idea!

posted on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 10:09am

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