“Resurrecting” Rover

ChelseaCloning2 Comments

Did you ever see the movie The 6th Day, with Arnold Schwarzenegger? You know, the one where he comes home one day to find a clone of himself living with his family, is then chased by a bunch of cloned assassins and finally traces the attacks to the creator of the clones, who is himself a clone. Well the movie starts out highlighting the popular practice of commercial animal cloning for those who have lost their pets. Here is the infomercial for “Re-pet”:

The process is quite different from what cloning actually is – somatic cell nuclear transfer – but the concept is not so far fetched – anymore. A South Korean biotech company has just taken its first order to clone a beloved pet:

A woman from the United States wants her dead pitbull terrier – called Booger – re-created.

RNL Bio is charging the woman, from California, $150,000 (£76,000) to clone the pitbull using tissue extracted from its ear before it died.

The work will be carried out by a team from Seoul National University, where the first dog was cloned in 2005.

Sadly for her this will not actually “re-create” this woman’s deceased companion as she hopes, but only bring into existence Booger’s twin, and possibly with serious birth defects. It won’t be the “same” dog.

They say that art imitates life, but here we have a disturbing case of life imitating science fiction art.

2 Comments on ““Resurrecting” Rover”

  1. Please REMOVE your offensive comment about the handicapped woman who is cloning her beloved service dog. You are obviously an uninformed insensitive idiot who has NO knowledge of the TRUE story. This hero dog saved this woman’s life when another animal attacked her and amputated her arm outside her mountain farm. He sat beside her as they healed together, forging a bond which would last for ten years, and now even past death. He became a licensed service dog, and was in essence, her “hands”. He took off her shoes and socks, opened doors, answered her phone, pulled her wheelchair, and even did the laundry. This dog fought a landmark civil rights case to help disabled people with service dogs enter public places. He educated school children about service dogs and what they do. He won awards. He was featured in parades. He helped his handicapped mistress survive a near drowning in a hurricane and flood. He tried to make a difference in people’s lives. He visited old folks’ homes and veterans centers where people had lost limbs in the wars or accidents. Everywhere he went he spread Love and worked his particular brand of magic. It is no wonder that a book and movie are being done on this awesome dog, and that he is making INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES. This woman tried adopting other dogs after Booger’s death, but it wasn’t the same and she was consumed with grief, in addition to physical pain. Cloning offered her closure and a chance to have her beloved friend again, as well as some peace in her heart. Cloning is no different from in vetro fertilization for people who long for a baby. And this handicapped woman sold her home and all her possessions to have her beloved friend back again. So get off your darn opinionated high horse and stop judging her.

  2. I made absolutely no judgment on the woman herself or her beloved deceased pet and certainly didn’t make any rude or offensive comments (unlike the rude comments you made about me, like calling me an idiot). I understand and sympathize with the sentiment behind her actions. I merely pointed out the fact that cloning will not bring back the same dog she lost. That special bond that she had with Booger was very unique and cannot be replaced, even by a clone of the original. As a fellow blogger, and cloning expert, pointed out, no matter how badly she wants it to be:

    [i]t won’t be the same dog. It might have the identical genetic makeup, but it will be an entirely different individual that might not even have the same markings or personality, since much of what an animal (or human) becomes results from environment beginning in the womb and on into life, as well as on genetics. Moreover, trying to clone the dog could become a form of abuse since reproductive cloning often leads to terrible defects and birth anomalies. It could also kill the birth mother since some cloned embryos develop into gigantic fetuses.

    As for myself, I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down and unable to walk for the rest of my life. Just weeks after my accident, when I was still in the hospital, my neighbors gave me one of the puppies they were breeding and he has been my constant companion for the last 8 years. Crash (that is his name) is a truly unique dog and the relationship I have with him, because of the circumstances under which I acquired him, is just as unique. This woman had a special bond with her dog largely because of what they had to endure together and it cannot be replicated by mere genetics. If she’s looking to have the same Booger back I am afraid she will be sorely disappointed and I feel incredibly sad for her, especially since she has literally given up all she owns for this dream.

    We cannot replace our loved ones, but only form new relationships and make new memories while always keeping the memory of the loved and lost alive in our hearts.

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