Friday, February 15, 2008

first order for cloned pet

hmmm, the first commercially-cloned dog:

A South Korean company says it has taken its first order for the cloning of a pet dog.

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...

She is said to have been particularly attached to the dog, after it saved her life when another dog attacked her and bit off her arm.

Not sure how I really feel about this--I don't want to say it's creepy simply because it is new, and different, and a bit sci-fi. But the truth is, this raises all sorts of questions as to what is a living creature? Is it one, unique and mortal body, or is it simply a genetic and mappable composition?

I view living things with cognition as a combination of nature versus nurture. You can clone the nature part, but that is not addressing the past experience and memory that fully characterize that creature as itself. Will the cloned dog even recognize the owner? I really am not privy to the details, but my guess is no.

Seems to me that the consumer went through a traumatic experience, and cannot detach herself from the dog. But the truth is, the cloned dog did not save her arm--it's a copy of the dog who did. I doubt she will feel satisfied. I really hope she didn't take money out on her house to pay for this.

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