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BioArts’ Best Friends Again Program

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 1:26 PM
Friday, July 27, 2012

BioArts is an American company who has teamed up with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation close to Seoul Korea to offer the Best Friends Again Program.

This Program offers dog and cat cloning to the general public. Currently they have only offered 4 cloning slots and have not decided if they will open any more slots in the future, that having been said the are offering a 5th slot through their websit. The 4 slots that were offered were awarded through a public internet auction.

BioArts is the customer service side of the program while Sooam Biotech Research Foundation does the actual cloning.

BioArts offers two reasons for wanting this type of service. The first is the ability to have a new pet with similar personality traits and identical coloring, size and body type to the original pet. They talk about the joy the families can experience in exploring their new animal. They do not discuss the fact that the cost listed for their 5th slot is 180,000 US dollars. An amount that seems fairly cost prohibitive to cloning the family pet. Under their Social Benefits page they do discuss the benefits of cloning working dogs to maintain the original animals superior ability. I surmise that this could be taken a second step and that this service could be truly beneficial to breeders with award winning animals who’s genetic perfection they don’t wish to lose. Award Winning animals make money for breeders by 1) winning prizes and, 2) breeding fees. This seems to be the only area where the cost might out way the benefits.

While this is an interesting service it is the opinion of this writer that the full ramifications of this program have not been fully considered. Is it right to recreate an animal for monetary gain (as in the breeding situation)? What is the emotional and physiological effect of recreating a pet on the family in the long term? Isn’t part of being a pet owner the sad fact that they like people do not live for ever? What would pet cloning teach children about the life cycle?


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