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Clone your beloved Snookums for a mere $150k

Cloning is a subject of much debate here in the United States, therefore, we don’t hear of the cloning of animals by American scientists much. However, the process of cloning animals is done in other countries.

A Korean company called RNL Bio is working with the scientists who cloned the first canine named Snuppy.  The company is offering to clone deceased pets for the tidy sum of $150,000. A company spokeswoman says that the first customer, Bernann McKunney from California, has already signed up to have her dead pit bull cloned.

McKunney says she is particularly attached to the dead animal because it saved her life during an attack by another animal. RNL Bio says that ear tissue from the dog was preserved at a U.S. biotech lab before the animal’s death and that there is about a 25% chance of being able to clone a new animal from this tissue.

The actual cloning of the animal will be done by Seoul National University and led by veterinary professor Dr. Lee Byeong-chun.

Lee worked with the disgraced Hwang Woo-suk who was found to have falsified his research. Lee was in court many times alongside Hwang for allegations of misappropriating funds and was suspended for three months during the stem cell scandal.

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Ear Tissue?
By Jynx980 on 2/16/2008 6:29:41 AM , Rating: 4
This woman planned ahead(which is odd in and of itself) by having the tissue frozen/stored. However 25% seems like a low figure. Is 25% the normal rate, regardless of how the sample was stored? If all you need is DNA couldn't that be obtained from pet hair instead of removing a part of your beloved pet?

Eventually this will become commonplace and much more affordable. The pet industry is a juggernaut and the potential to cash in on pet cloning is overwhelming.

The moral issues will always be there as well. Children usually learn about death starting with a pet. If you can just keep bringing something back, their view of death will be skewed. Why couldn't the same thing be done with Grandma?

The whole thing is a bit shady. $150k for a 25% chance and Dr. Lee Byeong-chun's association and suspension involving Hwang Woo-suk. Customs could be a problem; cloned pet tax? And travel? Do they offer international pet travel on aircraft?

Just go down to the pound and give a pet a chance at a good life instead of being euthanized.

RE: Ear Tissue?
By tmouse on 2/18/2008 12:10:11 PM , Rating: 1
While most will not read this (since its late in the reply) you cannot use hair as hair does not have any DNA. Follicular tags do but cloning is VERY (VERY X 100) inefficient. Your HAVE to have a living cell to extract the nucleus (note not just DNA). My best guess the 25% number is pulled from their a@@, maybe 25% of finding a living cell in a frozen ear. They will use literally 100's of eggs. Actually I feel this is practically fraud, playing on the emotional weaknesses of pet owners. Simply put as others have stated you are NEVER going to get you pet back. Scientifically you are getting a little less than an identical twin (a identical twin is going to be closer unless they use eggs from the mother or a sister; think mitochondrial DNA). The animal will also suffer from abnormalities like organomegally which ALL clones suffer with varying degrees (probably due to genomic imprinting but the exact cause is still not understood). I wonder what the owners would think about the fates of the other imperfect or unwanted clonal results produced from these experiments. As other have stated get a new pet there are plenty that have real need, or freeze the eggs or sperm and have an offspring produced if you need continuity as some form of tribute. I think cloning could have some uses and could help answer real scientifically valid questions but this whoring of the technology does not help anyone.

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