How much would you pay for an exact replica (at least physically) of your beloved pet? RNL Bio of Seoul, South Korea hopes to clone dogs commercially at a fee of $150,000 each. It’s first commercial clones, from a Pit Bull named Booger, were born recently, to the delight of Bernann McKinney.
The original Booger saved McKinney from an attack by another dog, then became an assistance dog during McKinney’s recovery. This remarkable dog passed in 2006, but McKinney now has five exact dupicates, thanks to the cloning process developed by Lee Byeong-Chun.
Here’s how it works: skin cells from the original dog provide the DNA, which is combined into an egg cell from another dog. Before combining, the nucleus of the egg is removed to eliminate the donor’s DNA from “contaminating” the clone. The cell begins to divide in a petri dish, then is implanted into a surrogate mother to be carried for about two months until they are born.
The company hopes to attract as many as 300 canine customers per year, and hopes to branch out into camel cloning for Middle Eastern customers.
McKinney, as the first commercial customer, got a real deal on the process, paying just $50,000. No word on how much of that went to the surrogate.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!