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Your Pet – Forever – for $100,000

Posted June 11, 2008 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

The lifespan of the average person is 75-80 years, but the lifespan of the average dog is only 10-15 years. If there was a way to keep your favorite pet with you for the rest of your life, would you do it?

BioArts International, Inc. claims to be the only company "with both the know-how and the legal right to practice commercial dog and cat cloning". One of the principal research scientists at BioArts is Hwang Woo Suk, who cloned the Afghan hound Snuppy in South Korea. (The researcher is also controversially known for his errors in cloning human stem cells. However, his work in dog cloning has been verified by other scientists.)

BioArts' first clones came from Missy, a border collie/husky mix. According to her family, she was a very special dog and so genetic material was saved for cloning after her death. Three clones were born – the first in December named Mira, and the other two in February named Chin-Gu and Sarang (see photo above from the Missyplicity site). All were carried by separate surrogates and are beginning to look more like Missy with age.

Due to their "unusual reproductive biology", dogs are difficult to clone – perhaps even more difficult than humans, according to some scientists. But BioArts is taking advantage of its unique licensing and patents to offer a program called Best Friends Again – an online auction for its cloning service. Five slots will be offered to the public via web starting June 18. The starting bids will be $100,000, and the timing of the auctions will be staggered to accommodate people in different time zones.

How can $100,000+ for a copy of your beloved pet be justified when there are thousands of dogs waiting for homes in shelters? Well, the clones do come with some guarantees. BioArts will guarantee some physical resemblance and health of each dog for one year. Personality, of course, is not translated to a cloned animal and is likely to be completely different.

How do you feel about cloning a pet? Is the expense worth creating an animal that looks like a former beloved dog or cat, but may not have the same traits that made them such a great companion? Does cloning dogs take us a step forward in science in a positive way or in a scary way?

Resource:

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/us/21dog.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin

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#1

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/11/2008 4:10 AM

Taxidermy is cheaper

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#9
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 3:05 PM

Del, stuffed pets also don't eat as much and they don't poop on the carpets. Maybe if this guy perfects his cloning technique for humans, I'll sign on and stick around another 80 years. We have to ask, if he clones someone elderly, will the DNA clones reflect the advanced age of the clonee, or result in a youthful, vibrant intelligent person, assuming the DNA sample is from an elderly person.

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#13
In reply to #1

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 4:55 PM

you beat me to it...stuffed Rover is so much more obedient than before....

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#2

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/11/2008 10:41 AM

First dogs, the next thing you know RePet has cloned the governator, are you next? Better check under your left eyelid for a dot. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_6th_Day

Seriously tho unless they are able to match RePet and give the animal the same memories and behavior, it just doesn't seem any different than a new pet of the same breed.

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#7
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 8:52 AM

I agree. Also, if the only similarities are in appearance and not personality, it seems like the point is defeated. My dog looks almost like 1/2 of every other male yellow lab out there.

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#3

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 1:35 AM

Anyone ever read the book or see the movie - Pet Cemetery?

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#4

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 6:10 AM

There is a cheapo way of having a pet that can outlive owner without fancy clonning.

Buy a turtle, and the problem is solved.

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#5

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 7:54 AM

funny, cloning dogs in Korea. For what, BBQ?

it's a dumb idea but there are plenty of people with more money than sense...

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#6

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 8:27 AM

I lost my white pomernian two years back. She was only 12 yrs. old, a beautifull dog. She was most favourate in the family. We spent lot of money to save her kidney which had gone away. I could have posted her pic on this thread but I dont know how I can do it. My question is that cloned animal is exactly same as parent animal?. By nature and all other features.

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#8
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 9:41 AM

A cloned animal will have identical physical characteristics and a similar temprement but the personality is going to be affected by how the animal is raised as well as genetics. The old "nature versus nurture" arguement. It's really some of both.

So the dog would be close, but not exact.

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#14
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 6:40 PM

Another odd effect of cloning that was proved by Dolly, the sheep - If you clone an old animal, the clone has about the same age when fully grown.

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#17
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 8:29 AM

I've heard of Dolly...but what is this supposed to mean? "If you clone an old animal, the clone has about the same age when fully grown."

If you clone a 5 year old dog it will be about 5 years old once it's 5 years old?!?

I didn't get any sleep last night...maybe I'm missing something....ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........

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#18
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 10:20 AM

I noticed that too..but was too afeared of the wrath of Vermin...

I think he means it will die at about the same age as the original...

You have to make allowances for his poor use of English...he's from the colonies you know .

Del

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#19
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 11:27 AM

actually Dolly the sheep clone aged quite rapidly. I guess you could say that once Dolly reached the age of sheep majority she very rapidly biologically aged to the chronological age of her donor animal over a shorter period of time.

So if Spot the dog has a tissue sample removed when he is 13 years old Spot the Second will, after 12-18 months, start aging rather rapidly. I don't know the rate ratio but it's rather quick.

I guess you might argue that you didn't get your money's worth. Probably why the clone is only warranted for a year.

You know what it's like with those people from the colonies, they're revolting...

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#21
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 11:47 PM

Thank you, ca1icOcat.

Yes, Dolly was born a lamb. However, as she reached the age of adulthood for a sheep, it was quickly noted by here keepers that she had developed into an aged sheep - the same age as the sheep that the cells were originally taken from.

So, it seems that when you clone DNA, it comes with a clock - if you clone a young animal, you get a young animal, but if you clone an old animal, its clone will be old, as well.

So I guess all you "old guys" out there don't really have much to look forward to in term of clone technology. Kinda sucks, doesn't it.

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#29
In reply to #21

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 12:17 AM

So, I guess that it would not pay to have yourself cloned as an older person, huh? The clone just would not live as long of a life as the original - take Del, he is what? 90? And the clone would live to be 20? And then the clone of the clone would have the same shortened live span? Wouldn't that be problematic as well if it were tissues/organs that were being cloned. The colonies, huh?

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#30
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 12:38 AM

Hense the interest in stem cells!!!

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#31
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 1:09 AM

Did you ever read the book(s) of Frank Herbert called Dune? There was a whole civilization (of men, of course) that created clones of themselves...that could eventually get their original memories restored. This is a common thread throughout the series with a character by the name of Duncan ... I loved that series, the finale was lacking but still a good end to a long wait...

Cheers

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#32
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 1:36 AM

Yeah, a really good book!!!

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#33
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 1:57 AM

There is a new series of books coming out this fall... it will take up after the first (original) book and tell the story of what happens to Paul Atriedes suring that time and with his godhead. Can't wait

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#22
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 11:48 PM

The "wrath of vermin?!" LOL!!!

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#23
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:28 AM

well you might bounce on me ...

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:30 AM

Believe me, you'd like it!

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#25
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:32 AM

RAOFPMSL ...mmm you wanna play bouncy bouncy big boy

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#26
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:36 AM

ME LIKE-E BOUNCY! ME LIKE-E BOUNCY!

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#27
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:43 AM

I hope Admin don't see this flithy link ...

Just for you Verm

Del

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#28
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/14/2008 3:45 AM

What the f#%k!!!

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#35
In reply to #18

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 7:20 AM

I think maybe he was saying:

  • The long-since differentiated cells of a "well-aged" donor will somehow also contain the (fully expressed) DNA encoding for aging (towards death), consistent with the "used up" life expectancy of the donor.
  • Such that, if the donated cell was drawn (by way of comparison) from, say, embryonic (the more undifferentiated the better) tissue, the more likely it would be that the clone would live out its "normal," gene-mapped life course (albeit that there would be no immediate predictability of mature characteristics); whereas...
  • A cell donated from a "mature" (aged) tissue would give rise to an embryo (in effect) already, as it were, encoded for (not potential aging but) aged or more advanced aging characteristics; such that
  • the clone could not be expected to live out a normal life's course (like a natural specimen) but would be prone to "realize" in actual, physical expression the donor's aged characteristics at an earlier age...perhaps as early as the age of first attainment of maturity...rather than at the age at which the donor first expressed the same, possibly deficit, characteristic of aging.

I have not heard this previously; but it has been well reported that the viability of mammalian clones, vis-a-vis their donors (of haploid as opposed to diploid "regeneration"), has been shown to be...problematic. This suggest that, if cloning has a "best" application (most good for greatest number), it is not for the purpose of meeting individual vanity or fantasy needs regarding a (cherished) animal that has lived to, and through, adulthood to its death.

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#36
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/16/2008 12:57 AM

Yes, very good. Thank you, CowAnon.

Here's a layman's explanation that was described to me... Cells and their DNA are something like a string of pearls. Each time a cell divides during an individual's life, a pearl is removed, which leaves some of the string exposed. In some way, the length of the string determines the age of the cell (and individual) - the more string, the fewer the pearls, and the fewer times the cell can divide. Furthermore, the more string showing, the less robust the cell.

So, it you take DNA from an 80 year old man and clone him, once the clone reaches adulthood, it will rapidly begin showing the signs of old age, because his cells have the same length of string as the 80 year old. In fact, the act of growing into an adult takes several cell divisions, and the clone may run out of pearls before adulthood.

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#10

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 3:49 PM

How many Del the Cat can we clone?

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#11
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 4:52 PM

in this instance I prefer taxidermy....

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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 4:53 PM
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#16
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 10:14 PM

ca1ic0cat: "in this instance I prefer taxidermy...."

Cremation is about the same in cost but doesn't take up as much room and doesn't have to be kept clean, etc. SS

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#15

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/12/2008 9:01 PM

Clones are pets two.

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#20
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Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/13/2008 3:41 PM

A clone isn't just for Christmas!

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#34

Re: Your Pet – Forever – For $100,000

06/15/2008 6:42 AM

Is this a promotion?

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