Science

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First Contract Signed to Clone Pet

February 18, 2008 12:05 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A California woman who claims her pit bull saved her life is paying $150,000 to a South Korean company to clone the deceased dog, Booger.

30-Second Summary

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Booger defended his owner from an attack by another dog. Now his grateful and grieving owner has turned to cutting-edge genetic science in the hope of creating a Booger clone. It is reportedly the first order of its kind.

The Humane Society has criticized the idea of “commercial cloning,” on the grounds that the health of the animal created could be compromised.

A tadpole was the first creature to be cloned, in 1952. Mammal cloning started 12 years ago, when Dolly the sheep was born. Unlike the clones of science fiction, Dolly wasn’t identical to the animal her genetic material was taken from.

She died in 2003, at an age well below a sheep’s life expectancy. Her death suggested to some scientists that the process of cloning might shorten an animal’s lifespan.

Since Dolly, other animals, including dogs, have been cloned. It is not believed that the procedure has been successfully performed with humans. An organization called Clonaid claims to have created 13 human clones, but has not produced any convincing evidence.

Cloning, even of humans, has not been banned by the U.S. government. Human cloning, though, is illegal in a number of states.

Headline Links: ‘First Order for Pet Dog Cloning’

Reaction: Humane Society condemns commercial cloning

Background: Human clone claims, cloning sheep

Reference: How cloning works, cloning laws

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