Online Auctions for Cloning Dogs

Very soon all of our dogs will begin to look like Tom Cruise

A California company is planning a string of online auctions next month to clone five dogs, with the bidding to start at $100,000. Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans.

But the company behind the auctions, BioArts International, maintains that the technology is ready, and it is calling the dog cloning project Best Friends Again. It has scheduled the auctions for June 18.

BioArts says it has licensed patents issued in the 1990s after researchers in Scotland cloned Dolly the sheep.

BioArts also arranged a partnership with the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. BioArts says one of the principal scientists there is Hwang Woo Suk, who in 2005 was involved in cloning a male Afghan hound. He and his Korean colleagues named that dog Snuppy, for Seoul National University puppy.

A team led by Hwang reported in 2004 that it had made cloned human embryos and stem cells. But those claims were found to be fraudulent.

“I know the association with Dr Hwang is going to be controversial,” Lou Hawthorne, the chief executive of BioArts, said. “One of the contradictions of Dr Hwang is that he made mistakes on his human stem-cell research, and he’s the first to admit that.”
But he said Hwang’s dog-cloning work had been independently verified. “Our main concern is simply he’s the best when it comes to dog cloning,” Hawthorne said, “and for that reason it behooves us to work with him.” Hawthorne said the bidding would start at $100,000.
Via NY Times