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Copied cats

There are two things I'd like to note about the recent announcement that a Texas company has successfully cloned a house cat. (The New York Times' article is here.)

One: The name of the company is "Genetic Savings and Clone." No shit. (Their website is here.)

Two: While I can see why cloning pets could be big business, I hope people don't create much demand for it. Loss is part of life; we should be prepared to face it. And there are already too many dogs and cats (and puppies and kittens) without good homes to go to. And genetic diversity is a good thing.

I've loved my pets as much as just about anyone. And part of loving something, I think, is cherishing it for what it is — and not treating it like some possession, some commodity you go and buy more of whenever it runs out.

February 15, 2002 2:26 PM

Comments (and TrackBacks)

I'd like to add a couple of potential spoilers:

A clone isn't the same personality. It doesn't even appear to have the same markings, in the case of this kitty.

No cloned animals have ever lived a natural span. I have some personal ideas about this, to do with cells potentially "knowing" what age they are, but they're largely off the top of my head and not worth going into detail over. Time will tell.

I think the technology may have potential for stem cells, cloned organs, whatever, but you aren't going to bring back fluffy the kitten ever again...

Posted by dan on February 16, 2002 11:32 AM

Yes. There is hope.... But I suspect that science will at least partially overcome the difficulties of replicating an animal's markings and sustaining its lifespan. An animal's personality probably depends too much on its early experiences, but I'm not sure if there wouldn't be demand for cloned pets regardless, out of a desperate or misguided fear of loss.

Posted by M on February 16, 2002 2:02 PM

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