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Another Dumb Idea

badger
August 7th, 2004, 06:50 PM
August 7, 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A company that unveiled the world's first cloned cat nearly three years ago now says it is ready to start filling orders for cloned pets, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Genetic Savings and Clone, a firm that wants to make a business out of cloned pets, now has Tabouli and Baba Ganoush, 8-week-old Bengal kittens who are the world's second and third cat clones.

``All pieces of the puzzle are now in place on the cat side,'' Genetic Savings CEO Lou Hawthorne told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The firm is being backed by John Sterling, founder of the University of Phoenix, who has already funneled more than $10 million into a project that could require an additional $5 million before it sees a profit.

Five customers are paying $50,000 each for a clone of their own cats, which the company expects to have available by December. The company also said it has several hundred clients paying $150 a year plus an initial $900 to preserve tissue from living pets for future cloning. The first cloned cat--a calico named CC for Carbon Copy--cost the company $200,000 to produce.

To clone the Bengal kittens, Genetic Savings removed skin cells from the ``mom,'' a cat owned by Hawthorne's 4-year-old son. It then used a technology called chromatin transfer to regress the cells to an embryonic state, and injected the cell into another cat's egg to produce a single-celled cloned embryo. The embryo was implanted into a surrogate mother cat, who carried the pregnancy to the regular two-month term.

The company declined to say how long it took to create Tabouli and Baba Ganoush. Both cats are said to be healthy and do not face any of the common clone health problems, such as organ malformation.

But critics say there could be hidden defects and that the cats may have curtailed lives.

``They're exposing animals to risks for very few, if any benefits,'' said David Magnus, co-director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford. ``The quest for immortality in ourselves and even in our pets opens the door to commercial interests who want to make a profit on it.''

The company guarantees customers their money back or a free clone if any genetic defects surface.

Cloning dogs presents more of a challenge, but Genetic Savings now hopes to produce a dog clone this year.

Cinnabear
August 7th, 2004, 08:14 PM
:( People with too much money and can't let go of loved ones. Very dumb idea to me.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 12:06 AM
I keep coming to this thread, re-reading, eyeing the "post reply", pausing, then quickly closing the window.

Then I come back, repeat cycle.

Some part of me says "Don't even comment....you know you'll get poisoned arrows shot at you from every direction"
Another part of me says "Hey, they posted it because they want comments, right?"
Yet another tiny voice says "Not necessarily, they may have just wanted to voice their opinion".

Hmph.

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 09:24 AM
Come on Cactus! You can do it, I will protect you from the poison darts.. we KNOW you wanna share!! Just share, you can't keep up this suspense, tell us your thoughts!

glasslass
August 8th, 2004, 11:17 AM
Think of how many cats could be saved with that all that money! And those loving owners could provide a home for 5 more.

This is just all about money! Those that have it and those that exploit it.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 12:28 PM
Alright, here goes.

First, you should know that genetics is a passion of mine. This began in my field of study (forensic psychology) when we were learning about genetic predispositions. I took off on my own from there, and still study many facets of genetic engineering to this day.

It is true that the money spent on genetic cloning could be spent on saving animals that are already here. I fostered for four years. I have gotten every dog I've ever had from shelters, except for Raja. She was rescued from a situation- BUT I would have paid a reputable breeder for her if I had to. Frankly, I would have done most anything to bring her home, we connected so quickly and deeply and intangibly. Some of you that foster/rescue, etc. have admitted to getting one of your pets from a reputable breeder as well.

It is true that people that can afford it will use this because they "can't let go of loved ones".

I will admit that if this study had been done long enough to determine that there are no genetic defects or health problems as a result of the cloning (which takes three generations)- and if I had "too much money"- and if Raja say, got hit by a car and died tomorrow- I would be standing in line at Genetic Savings and Clone.
I would know that I am not getting Raja back. That a different personality and a different soul would be inside an animal that looks like her.

Raja is the most beautiful dog I have ever seen in my life. She takes my breath away. Reproducing such physical beauty is nothing I would be ashamed of. And yes, I've adopted dogs that I thought were "so ugly they are cute" (have you ever said that?). So this was not my reason for taking Raja.
Also, since Raja has no inherant genetic diseases and is in excellent health, I would be assured her clone would not, either.
Yes, responsible breeders have full health panels done on their dogs, and can assure healthy lines of offspring- to a certain degree. But even in these animals, health issues common to this breed can pop up (bloat, for an example). Time and experience with Raja has shown me that she has no major health issues. That's the best guarantee I can get.
As for the time and money spent ("wasted"?) on this type of research, I could also say that "responsible/reputable" breeders are doing the same. Is there any reason that they need to breed their champion-line dogs? Besides to sell them and show them? Is selling and showing a necessary part of life? Especially when there are "so many unwanted animals in the shelter"?
At least these genetic engineers are making a contribution to science. I know many will attack that statement, but without going into too much detail, there was a benevolent basis for this type of study, originally. Cloning will save many species from extinction, for example. Cloning will also be used to eradicate disease in species that are heading for extinction because of man-made pollutants, etc. Again, I could go on but I'd be writing a book here.
I hope this comes across as I intended it. So much can be lost in text alone, without the cadence and emphasis of speech.

glasslass
August 8th, 2004, 01:27 PM
There are a lot of good arguments for cloning. But from what I've read, the clone won't necessarily always physically look like the original. I'm afraid that people will expect to get the same personality as well. Then there are those who would clone just to acquire replacement parts. Not just talking pets here. How to screen?

Writing4Fun
August 8th, 2004, 02:56 PM
At least these genetic engineers are making a contribution to science. I know many will attack that statement, but without going into too much detail, there was a benevolent basis for this type of study, originally. Cloning will save many species from extinction, for example. Cloning will also be used to eradicate disease in species that are heading for extinction because of man-made pollutants, etc.

I hear you, Cactus Flower. Isn't that one of the biggest problems with today's society, though? Everyone starts off with the best of intentions, but then money and politics get involved and ... well, we all know how these stories end (e.g. Plastic Surgery - started out as help for people with serious need, and now we have size EEEEE boobs! :eek: ).

I just hope Life doesn't imitate Art, and we end up with a new breed of T-Rex rampaging through downtown Toronto!! :D

Stewart
August 9th, 2004, 04:14 AM
Cactus Flower,I to follow your thoughts this is a very complex and emotive subject,Its another of mankinds brilliant ideas where we must learn to walk before run with it for all our sakes (life on this planet i mean ) lets hope we get it right ! :eek:

chico2
August 9th, 2004, 07:33 AM
CactusFlower.I understand what you are saying and science is a necessary,sometimes evil :D Where would we be without new discoveries and science?
Personally I do not know enough about cloning to speak about it,but is it really that much different from test-tube babies?
I can see somewhere in the not too far future,cats will be created without claws and the offending teeth,dogs without the ability to bark and you will be able to order tail or no tail :D
I think if I could clone my husband,I might,he's the bestest :D But then I would be stuck with a baby :D
One of the sad realities with larger breed dogs,is their short lifespan,at my age,where time flies,loving a dog for 8-9yrs and then loose him/her too soon,would be heartbreaking.So,maybe if I had the money I would clone an exceptional dog,like Raja.
Before that though,I would have some remodelling done on myself :D
Then again,maybe not...I would look like those aging movie-stars,stretched to the limit,a very scary prospect...

meggie1425
August 9th, 2004, 08:54 AM
Right now they are cloneing animals, next thing you know they will be cloning humans! :eek: Then, bye-bye to our individuality!! I agree with glasslass, its all about the money, and that money could be used to help save cats, instead of making them into one big science experiment!! :( Plus, what if something goes wrong with the cloning, then the cat has to go through a painful life. These are living creatures we are talking about. Just my opinion.

Cactus Flower
August 9th, 2004, 12:26 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again......the great thing about this forum is variety of opinion :)

Where would we be without new discoveries and science?


I agree. And many of the "new discoveries" in history were unpopular and met with great resistance, only to become something we all approve of and use to our benefit (some vaccines, the microwave oven, etc etc ad infinitum).

There are always going to be people who want to exploit a new idea for questionable purposes, or who take it too far.

next thing you know they will be cloning humans! Then, bye-bye to our individuality!!
Do you feel the same way about twins? Genuinely curious here.

Plastic Surgery - started out as help for people with serious need, and now we have size EEEEE boobs
Yes but that's a personal decision, to each their own. I still think its worth it for the people who have this procedure done after a masectomy, for the woman with terribly low self esteem who feels fantastic after going from a concave chest to something that makes her feel more feminine....

Then there are those who would clone just to acquire replacement parts. Not just talking pets here. How to screen?
I'm sure the screening process is quite thorough, but there are never guarantees with anything. I don't know if it would ever go this far, but I feel it is up to us as voting citizens, as citizens with the freedom and power to petition, to demonstrate, to write letters...to be heard- to speak out against that which we disapprove of, and vote against those who support that which we disapprove of.

We muck with "nature" every day in so many ways that we approve of and no longer even think about.
Personally, I'm hoping they come up with a way to defy gravity itself....as it is having a displeasing effect upon my boobs and bottom......where do I sign up for the antigravitational study....lol :D

meggie1425
August 9th, 2004, 02:20 PM
No i dont feel the same way about twins, Because twins have their own personalitys. I know that there are many pros and cons to cloning. I personally just dont like the idea of 2 people, or even 2 cats being exactly alike, but everybody has there own opinions :)

melanie
August 10th, 2004, 01:36 AM
well, great topic, ooohhh so controversial and i love a bit of that :D .
well i agree with cactus, science is a beautiful thing that can open up a whole new world of possibilities, and we are following our natural evolution in an intelligence or brain expansion sense, ie evolution of our own species :D .
as far as cloning, there is so many new possibilites opened up here, oh so much, it could aid all sorts of factors of our lives and society. and really, who would want to clone me anyways, my mother said they broke the mold on that little number a long time ago :D .
so back to the point, if really rich ppl want to spend their money on this, then i say go ahead. in reality they will never use that money for the greater good of society as a whole or the animal kingdom, so how they spend it... who cares, we will never see it, so the more they put it into the coffers of others, well that is sort of good.
in the past i have said i would clone charlie, she is my love. who could not at least entertain the idea, BUT having said that i know that i would not get charlie back, it would just be the same color and if anything sadder as i would want my girl back but be heart broken when it wasnt her, just a look alike reminder for a good 10yrs, bugger that. i would prefer to make the most of our time now.
so yay for cloning and its more widespread applications in health care and society :D :D :D :D