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Friday, May 23, 2008

Online auctions to clone dogs

Cloning has always been a controversial subject, and the concept of human cloing has always raised the hackles of a large number of people, including politicians. As a result, most countries have shied away from approving of human cloning; further, the news that a South Korean scientist had faked his results in the area of cloning led to a further backlash against the subject. On the other hand, cloning of animals has not provoked the same kind of reaction. Cloning of pets specially, the animals who are almost part of a family has started becoming an acceptable field (or at least does not provoke politicians and conservative campaigners to take up arms against this).
A company now plans to take this up on a commercial basis, offering to do cloning of dogs, and offering this facility at an auction. It is also doing a partnership with the discredited South Korean researcher, Hwang Woo Suk:

A California company is planning a string of online auctions next month to clone five dogs, with the bidding to start at $100,000. Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans.
"I know the association with Dr Hwang is going to be controversial," Lou Hawthorne, the chief executive of BioArts, said. "One of the contradictions of Dr Hwang is that he made mistakes on his human stem-cell research, and he's the first to admit that."
But he said Hwang's dog-cloning work had been independently verified. "Our main concern is simply he's the best when it comes to dog cloning," Hawthorne said, "and for that reason it behooves us to work with him."

People get so attached to pets that those having money are willing to spend heavily to try and obtain a clone of their dogs; however, this whole business of cloning involves ethical issues and needs to be relooked.

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