Scientists Clone Pet Dog
A South Korean-created dog clone becomes the first of its kind to live in the US.
January 29, 2009 – Losing a pet can be devastating, especially when disease claims their lives. The bonds formed between humans and their animal companions (as we’ve learned from Fable 2) can last a lifetime, if by lifetime you mean about a dozen years or so. One American couple decided that they did not want to say goodbye to their cancer stricken pooch, and instead opted to have an exact clone of their Labrador created in a lab (oh, the irony) immediately after the original puppy passed away.
DNA samples of Sir Lancelot were taken and frozen over six years ago at the request of Edgar and Nina Otto, a wealthy couple with an apparent fetish for the Knights of the Round Table. After succumbing to cancer last January in 2008, the DNA of Lancelot was brought to BioArts International in South Korea, where for £108,000 the biotech firm generated a perfect clone of the dog, now disturbingly named Lancelot Encore, like some lame PC music program.
Lancelot Encore is now the first single-birth commercially cloned puppy to reside in the United States. The Otto’s, who at ages 66 (Nina) and 79 (Edgar) are no strangers themselves to having death lurking around every corner, were extremely satisfied with the process.
“He looked just like my original Lancelot,” said Nina. “The most interesting thing about this Lancelot we notice he’s bonded immediately within an hour with every other pets in the house. He’s the Alpha dog!”
A rep from another South Korean BioTech firm has since come out and said that cloning a pet will soon cost less than half the price paid the Otto’s. RNL Bio claims to have developed a new method for cloning dogs using stem cells derived from fat tissue. Two cloned beagle puppies were born recently using this technique, which the company hopes will reduce the cost of pet cloning to £35,000 within the next three years.
If affordable, would you clone your precious pooch? Would you name them Sir Galahad or King Arthur like a pair of rich old people? Share your comments below.