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  (Source: acmepetco.com)
A couple who has paid $155,000 to clone their departed Labrador retriever was hand-delivered their new puppy, the world's first commercially cloned dog, earlier this week.

A Boca Raton, Florida, couple paid a California firm $155,000 to clone their Labrador retriever, Sir Lancelot, who died a year ago due to cancer. Lou Hawthorne, a chairman of biotechnology company BioArts International, hand-delivered the 10-week-old puppy to his owners earlier this week.

Edgar and Nina Otto first began to consider cloning Sir Lancelot approximately five years ago.

"I said 'Well, you know, it wouldn't hurt to have his DNA frozen,' and that's what we did," Nina Otto explained.  

After being one of five families to bid and win a BioArts auction for an opportunity to clone their dog, the Ottos got the chance to put their departed Labrador’s DNA to use. The DNA sample was sent to the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, a cloning-service provider to BioArts. Researchers then moved the DNA again, only this time into an egg. BioArts reports November 18, as the day that Lancey was born. Ten weeks later, the Ottos became the first of six BioArts clients to obtain their clone.

Lancey is surrounded by nine other dogs at the Otto household, which has held several dogs in the past, as well. Somehow, Sir Lancelot managed to stand out among the others. He was a “prince among dogs,” as Edgar Otto called him.

"Sir Lancelot was the most human of any dog we've ever had," Edgar Otto said. “[Sir Lancelot ] was a very, very, very special dog to us. And we've given a lot more to the Humane Society than we've ever spent on this project."

The Humane Society of the United States, on the other hand, does not agree with the commercial cloning of animals.

The organization’s Website explains, "Given the current pet overpopulation problem, which costs millions of animals their lives and millions in public tax dollars each year, the cloning of pets has no social value and in fact may lead to increased animal suffering...For those looking to replace a lost pet, cloning will not create an animal identical to the one who is gone; cloning cannot replicate an animal's uniqueness. Cloning can only replicate the pet's genetics, which influence but do not determine his physical attributes or personality."

As for the Ottos, the replication of their beloved, departed dog’s genetics is enough. Edgar Otto explained that he understands Lancey might differ from Sir Lancelot, and he added, "If he's different, we're not going to love him any less."

Edgar Otto is the son of the late Edwin Otto, a “motorsports pioneer,” who held a role in NASCAR’s founding, according to www.ottomotorsports.com.



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I personally don't understand
By rdeegvainl on 2/1/2009 2:58:46 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
"If he's different, we're not going to love him any less."

So why don't you just get another dog of the same breed? I don't understand this, but it's a cool option, I guess, for people who have to money to throw around.




RE: I personally don't understand
By stevty2889 on 2/1/2009 3:15:50 PM , Rating: 5
A genetic clone of a dog that died from cancer..that seems brilliant. $155,000 to clone a dog that is geneticly prone to cancer..


RE: I personally don't understand
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/1/2009 3:17:06 PM , Rating: 5
Now that I think of it, LOL. Good point! :-)


RE: I personally don't understand
By Samus on 2/1/2009 4:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
That was the first thing that occured to me, too. However, it'd be interesting if it DOESN'T have cancer through its lifetime, indicating the cancer was not genetically induced.

These are the types of studies that should be conducted on cloned animals so they can begin to research screening out the 'bad' traits in genes.


By tastyratz on 2/1/2009 5:36:42 PM , Rating: 5
or that they have not yet perfected the art of cloning.

Ill clone anyones dog. Just give me a picture and a week to find a puppy that looks just like it at the pound....

I mean..

do research and begin the cloning process.

Anyone want to give me $155,000 for my "research" ?


RE: I personally don't understand
By kontorotsui on 2/2/2009 6:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That was the first thing that occured to me, too. However, it'd be interesting if it DOESN'T have cancer through its lifetime, indicating the cancer was not genetically induced. These are the types of studies that should be conducted on cloned animals so they can begin to research screening out the 'bad' traits in genes.


You forget nature gives us clones already: twins.
That kind of research is possible, and probably has been done already. The most expect result is, probably, that there is a correlation: likehood to develop cancer is probably also genetic.


RE: I personally don't understand
By afkrotch on 2/2/2009 1:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know if you'd consider a twin a clone. Do they have to be exactly alike to be a clone? Or just the same DNA. Identical twins have the same dna, but other things will be different. Like fingerprints or eye color.


RE: I personally don't understand
By hlper on 2/2/2009 5:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
In the scientific community, cells derived from a single parent cell are considered clones of each other based on their shared DNA content. So, although I have never thought of identical twins as clones, the comment could be considered technically correct.


By jtemplin on 2/2/2009 9:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
An identical twin is a clone. The things you mention vary because they are under the influence of stochastic processes, for example blood flow. Another such process is spontaneous mutations during DNA replication


RE: I personally don't understand
By rs1 on 2/1/2009 10:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
But that misses the point, which is that cloning arbitrary things for profit is something that we should be doing, simply because we can.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Murloc on 2/2/2009 10:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that too...

And what's the need to clone a dog, just take another one, it will be different anyway.
They prolly made this just because it looks cool, but this dog will die by cancer or other illnesses.


By Screwballl on 2/2/2009 10:18:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
A genetic clone of a dog that died from cancer..that seems brilliant. $155,000 to clone a dog that is geneticly prone to cancer..


Sorry can't give him a 6, he uses the "FAILBOAT spellcheckr"


RE: I personally don't understand
By Motoman on 2/1/2009 4:12:22 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is that they have some expectation that the clone is going to be "just like" their dead pet - i.e. have the same temperment, mannerisims, character, etc.

Which it almost certainly won't.

From a scientific standpoint, I am fascinated by cloning technology, particularly for it's potential medical applications. However, I can not possibly think less of these people for having utterly wasted $155k on cloning a dog...which is not going to be discernable from any other puppy of the same breed in any way.

<wags finger at this couple> Bad people! Bad, bad people!


RE: I personally don't understand
By Diesel Donkey on 2/1/2009 8:01:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is that they have some expectation that the clone is going to be "just like" their dead pet - i.e. have the same temperment, mannerisims, character, etc.


From the article:

quote:
Edgar Otto explained that he understands Lancey might differ from Sir Lancelot, and he added, "If he's different, we're not going to love him any less."


RE: I personally don't understand
By Motoman on 2/1/2009 8:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
...and I'm calling BS. You don't go through this and spend this money to clone an animal without the expectation that it's going to be the same as the original.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Diesel Donkey on 2/1/2009 8:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
I see where you're coming from, but I think they're just playing the odds. The dog might be similar, it might not. They have enough money (they claim to have given much more to the Humane Society) to take the chance. I don't think they're completely ignorant of the realities of cloning. Of course, I could be quite wrong about this. I think they'll be happy, though, if the new dog is just similar to the old one; I don't think they're expecting an exact replica.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Motoman on 2/2/2009 12:31:33 AM , Rating: 3
I think that any yellow lab puppy is going to be "similar" to the old one. On top of that, there will be a placebo effect anyway...they'll likely convince themselves that the new dog mimics the old one much more than it actually does.

My point is that, great, so they have $155k to throw away. You know what? Give it to the Humane Society again. Or to Goodwill. Or...practically anything. Give that enormous amount of money to someone who will benefit from it, because I can't get over how shameful it is to spend $155k on a puppy. Yes, that really irritates me.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Oregonian2 on 2/2/2009 2:49:46 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
My point is that, great, so they have $155k to throw away. You know what? Give it to the Humane Society again. Or to Goodwill. Or...practically anything. Give that enormous amount of money to someone who will benefit from it, because I can't get over how shameful it is to spend $155k on a puppy. Yes, that really irritates me.


They've obviously got the money -- it won't do them any good to die rich. If they want to spend it on what they want, that's fine with me. I'd rather they give me the money, but it's not my choice, nor should it be.

Another way of spinning the "happening" is that they're supporting medical research (in a normal capitalistic way) in their purchasing of the new puppy.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Motoman on 2/2/2009 12:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
I generally am in favor of capitalism. I am apparently, however, too hung up on ridiculously rich people vacuously wasting huge amounts of money for sheer vanity.

And yes, in a way, they're supporting the research. I guess my preference would have been that they give it as a research grant rather than a commercial purchase, because I think it sends a bad message.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Myg on 2/3/2009 8:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
Having more money means more responsibility.

To flagrantly use that responsibility for stupid and pointless persuits such as this is immoral and inhuman.

You could feed and house countless numbers of homeless/suffering/disadvantaged humans with such resources.

This is not normal, not right, nor should it be accepted, commended or dismissed as "it floats their boat". Because obviously if such trains of thought are allowed to persist, it will sink our "HMS Society".


RE: I personally don't understand
By icanhascpu on 2/2/2009 6:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wont hurt them to die rich, but it will hurt their kids when they die poor or in debt. 150,000 spent on cloning a dog that susceptible to cancer is not very wise. Seems like they cared more for their own feelings that the dog to me, no matter what they are saying.


RE: I personally don't understand
By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2009 7:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
You think they borrowed the money and went into debt for the puppy even though they've donated more than that amount of money to the humane society? Did they go into debt for their donations as well?

I doubt it.


By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2009 7:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - The kids don't inherit debt when the parents die unless they cosigned for their parent's loans.


RE: I personally don't understand
By hlper on 2/2/2009 5:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think that any yellow lab puppy is going to be "similar" to the old one. On top of that, there will be a placebo effect anyway...they'll likely convince themselves that the new dog mimics the old one much more than it actually does.


I totally agree, especially since the dog will grow up in the same environment as the deceased dog, and environment is about 50% of the influence on behavior. I say any lab puppy would do, and give the rest to charity people.


Warste!
By habbakuk on 2/1/2009 4:31:52 PM , Rating: 1
Of all the things to do with that much money they decide to that.Seems that these days only idiots and greedy people have money.
Hope the family loves each other more than their dogs.




RE: Warste!
By FaceMaster on 2/1/2009 5:16:37 PM , Rating: 1
lol, warste.

Onto the religious side of things, if a completely identical dog behaves differently to the one it's meant to be a clone of, does that mean that there's something else, other than just a physical body? A soul, perhaps?

Does anybody know any identical twins or what ever who had different personalities? If so, did they behave the same as each other? I know that there are different factors, but surely a clone IS a clone, and two of me would mean twice as much trouble to the Daily Tech community?


RE: Warste!
By HrilL on 2/1/2009 6:39:09 PM , Rating: 5
The thing is a lot of your personality is part of how you were treated. The friends you grew up with and so forth.

This dog will be very close to how the original one was because it will most likely be treated the same and get the same amount of love. But I would like to know just how different it really will be.


RE: Warste!
By psychmike on 2/1/2009 7:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
Identical genes do not result in identical phenotypes.

Gene expression is strongly affected by the environment. Genes can be suppressed, produce too much or not enough of the protein specfied, or at different times in development based on environmental factors. Environment factors (broadly defined) includes the utero environment, diet, the hormonal factors (strongly affected by stress), etc., etc., etc.


RE: Warste!
By EODetroit on 2/2/2009 9:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
Which is exactly why its great that they did this cloning. We'll find out from this dog's behavior how close a clone really is to its original, instead of just guessing or hypothesizing about it.


RE: Warste!
By psychmike on 2/2/2009 10:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
No we won't. This isn't a controlled experimental study with manipulated variables and measurement. This may be an interesting case study but not much more. If the family reports that the dog is exactly the same, we don't know how much of this is attributable to their biases and conditioning. That's why double-blind tests are so important. If the family reports that the dog is completely different, we won't know if it's because of differences in the embryotic environment, diet, maternal interaction, sibling interactions, the family's behaviour, or the family's biased perception.

Hypothesizing in science is a little different from the common usage. In science, it involves the formation of testable research questions based on understood or proposed mechanisms of action.


RE: Warste!
By hlper on 2/2/2009 5:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Better studies have already been done on twins separated at birth, or in early childhood. However, science still sucks at cloning animals and that's where this kind of comercial science is likely to pay dividends.

I would be curious to know how many attempts it took to get a viable dog embryo. My guess based on past research would be at least 50, and possibly hundreds before they found one that appeared normal. Keep in mind that at the cellular level this puppy is as old as the original DNA sample, so studying how it ages is probably more interesting than its personality.


RE: Warste!
By Starcub on 2/3/2009 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that genes inevitably suffer from random mutations as they develop. That is why we age and become susceptable to developing diseases like um, cancer. So taking genes from a dog that died of cancer and creating a clone is a monumentally stupid idea. They'll get a dog that will likely live a sick and short life, but at least they will be happy.

What they should have done was donate the money to some charity that services disadvantaged people, may of whom are treated not much better than people treat their own pets.


RE: Warste!
By bighairycamel on 2/2/2009 10:35:32 AM , Rating: 3
Well the glaring problem with your "religious" argument is the definition of the word soul. In Hebrew the definition of the word is simply a physical being, not a seperate part of your being... you don't have a soul, you are a soul. That is why the Bible calls animals souls. (See http://www.answers.com/topic/soul you a very well done write up)

The definition, like many other words (see sheol for a classic example), was distorted by religious racketeering fear mongers as a measure of control. They wanted you to believe you had a seperate immortal "soul" that would reap consequences depending on wether you behaved and believed the way they told you.


RE: Warste!
By FaceMaster on 2/2/2009 7:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well the glaring problem with your "religious" argument is the definition of the word soul.


I'm not religious. I'm just not ruling out the theory that people are more than just physical matter. I don't care what people interpret as a soul- only that this cloning stuff could determine whether there is something such as a 'soul' (my definition- something not physical which alters the way things behave).

quote:
The definition, like many other words (see sheol for a classic example), was distorted by religious racketeering fear mongers as a measure of control. They wanted you to believe you had a seperate immortal "soul" that would reap consequences depending on wether you behaved and believed the way they told you.


Don't patronise me.


RE: Warste!
By bighairycamel on 2/2/2009 9:23:58 PM , Rating: 3
Well you brought up the "religious" aspect regardless if you're a religious person or not. Since this part of the world is predominately Christian, the roots of which stem from Judaism, I could only assume you think of a soul as the traditional definition in modern religion. Like I said, the problem with your statement/ponderousness is that the original Jewish definition was not what it is today... meaning somewhere along the lines the definition was made-up.

You'd learn as much about the tooth fairy from this as you would a "soul", they're both figments of someone's imagination.


RE: Warste!
By Starcub on 2/3/2009 12:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
So why didn't you tell him what the original definition was? Would it be perhaps because then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on?

The soul is the union of body and spirit. Man is both body and spirit while God is a spiritual being. However, the term "body" could refer to more than just the flesh, and in religious texts often does. Therefore, "body and soul" also has valid meaning if use in the proper context.

In any case your critisism was based on false understandings of biblical theology. You used his appearent misunderstanding of biblical terminology to support your falacious arguement. When you say things like 'retribution for sin is just a myth created to scare people' you reveal the fact that you are either utterly clueless with regard Judeo-Christian teaching, or you are a deliberate fraud.


RE: Warste!
By Reclaimer77 on 2/3/2009 1:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you guys going on and on about the "soul" ??

I'm not a Christian, but I'm pretty sure that despite whatever Disney tells you, all dogs DON'T go to heaven :P

If you believe in a soul, then you must believe that animals do not have them. There is no room for debate on this really.


RE: Warste!
By bighairycamel on 2/3/2009 8:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So why didn't you tell him what the original definition was? Would it be perhaps because then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on?

You might want to scroll back up and check my original reply... In Hebrew the definition of the word is simply a physical being, not a seperate part of your being... you don't have a soul, you are a soul.

Where was the part where I didn't tell him what the definition was? I even gave a link to another site that offered more details into it.
quote:
In any case your critisism was based on false understandings of biblical theology. You used his appearent misunderstanding of biblical terminology to support your falacious arguement. When you say things like 'retribution for sin is just a myth created to scare people' you reveal the fact that you are either utterly clueless with regard Judeo-Christian teaching, or you are a deliberate fraud.

Again, don't jump to idiotic conclusions without reading all of my posts. Judiasm pre and post-christianity DID NOT believe in an immortal soul. My first post clearly uses the word "immortal". The scam involves teaching people that the soul is immortal and instantly receives blessings or punishments upon death. Jews taught that death was the ultimate form of punishment, look it up.

Please explain to me where my "false understandings" lie. The original writers of the books of the Bible used the Hebrew word for soul, which to them meant something different. So how can anyone pretend to know the scriptures while distorting the original definitons to their own will? This is exactly what King James did, which many modern faiths are based off of.

Here's a riddle that might help you understand... If you believe in the creation of Adam and Eve, what happened to their "souls"? Did they go to heaven? If so then Satan was correct because he told them they would become like gods. Did they go to hell? If so Satan was still correct, because he said they positively would not die. If their souls lived on to eternal punishment they still lived. The only explanation is that their souls DIED.

Ez 18:20 "The soul that is sinning -- it itself will die". How more clearly can it be explained? The jews taught that death was punishment that every man had to face.


RE: Warste!
By FaceMaster on 2/4/2009 10:01:20 AM , Rating: 2
What ever. The main focus of my post was asking whether this dog would behave differently to the one it's cloned from. I know there are environmental factors and stuff to consider, I'm not stupid.

You, on the other hand, saw 'soul' written in the middle of my post and probably threw a fit going 'OH NO RELIGIOUS PERSON!!!! QUICKLY DISS THEM!!!!!!!!!!'. When I say something I try to see both sides and try to find reason for both. This is what sets me aside from Americans, who look at something and only see the most profitable side and do the 'I've got a girlfriend, I'm superior to you!' approach where they assume that anybody different to them is obviously wrong and should be laughed at out of principle.

As for my take on religion, Santa is more likely to be real than God- I mean, at least he gives people physical presents and stuff. God merely gives us metaphorical gifts which would have probably come our way no matter what religion we are. And no, I don't believe in Santa either. Or do I?


RE: Warste!
By just4U on 2/1/2009 8:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to be able to clone a favored pet. Not so much because I'd want the same one tho but rather, it would be interesting to see how it differ's from the original thru-out it's life.

Ofcourse I'd not want to pay a boat load of money for that but still.


agreed!
By SunAngel on 2/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: agreed!
By rdeegvainl on 2/1/2009 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 3
So what your really saying is not getting your dog spayed or neutered is the cause.


RE: agreed!
By SunAngel on 2/1/2009 3:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
by reason of deductive reasoning having your dog spayed or neutered means you do not want any offsprings from that animals. yet, your willing to shell out 155 big ones for a clone? something does not add up here.

part II of my answer is if you loved your pet and was responsible the liklihood of it intercoursing with another animal is slim... only planned and supervised events should occur.


RE: agreed!
By rdeegvainl on 2/1/2009 6:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
your deductive reasoning is wanting. cloning and breeding are in two completely different catagories. you do not clone to make offspring, cause animals do that naturally, you clone to make copies. Though I don't know if most people realize that they will only be genetically similar, not necessarily the same behaviorally.


RE: agreed!
By littlebitstrouds on 2/1/2009 6:53:40 PM , Rating: 4
My dog knocked up a stray... sounds like bad parenting. My family bred a family of beagles, not one of our beagles "knocked up" any dogs in the neighborhood. You'd be surprised how many bad parents have dogs that knocked up the neighbor's dog, and sons that knocked up the neighbors daughter too.


RE: agreed!
By just4U on 2/1/2009 8:13:50 PM , Rating: 5
They paid 150 000+ dollars for this clone. Chances are it won't be out running in the streets...


Clone or...
By Hare on 2/1/2009 4:23:44 PM , Rating: 4
So they sent them a puppy from South-Korea. How can they be sure it's a clone and not just a similar looking puppy? The "scientists" are laughing all the way to the bank...




By Fenixgoon on 2/1/2009 2:57:42 PM , Rating: 3
*cues Futurama - Jurassic Bark*




In other news
By BlueLobster on 2/1/2009 5:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
In other news,world's first cloned dog run over by car.




Re-pet
By darkfoon on 2/2/2009 3:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who read the article title and immediately thought of "Re-pet"?




No Sixth Day jokes ?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2009 9:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
I know it wasn't one of Arnolds best, but c'mon. No Sixth Day violation comments from you bunch ?? The main character had a moral debate about getting his family dog cloned ! It's tailor made for this article !

You're slipping ! :P




hmmm...
By Dreifort on 2/2/2009 10:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
What is a cloned dog without a cloned Cesar?

If science cloned Cesar Milan, would he still be able to talk to animals? or would he become someone that talks to...say, dead people?

(to try something fun, start typing Cesar Milan in Google search... what is listed first in auto suggestions while typing? "Cesar Milan dogs"? no... "Cesar Milan Roller Blades"...haha)




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