Jan 5 - Living Together - Are Cloned Pets the Real Thing

Jan 5 - Living Together - Are Cloned Pets the Real Thing -...

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01/04/2009 06:27 PM Living Together - Are Cloned Pets the Real Thing? - NYTimes.com Page 1 of 5 This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation- ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now. January 1, 2009 LIVING TOGETHER Beloved Pets Everlasting? By ERIC KONIGSBERG Fairfax, Calif. THE most difficult thing about the cloned puppies is not telling them apart, but explaining why they don’t look exactly alike. This was the problem Lou Hawthorne faced on a recent afternoon hike with Mira and MissyToo, two dogs whose embryos were created from the preserved, recycled and repurposed nuclear DNA of the original Missy, a border collie-husky mix who died in 2002. To be sure, they have a very strong resemblance to each other and to Missy. It’s just that sometimes, as soon as people hear that the dogs are clones, the questions start coming: “Why is one dog’s fur curlier?” “Why aren’t the dogs the same size?” “Why is one of them darker?” “Why does this one have a floppy ear?” Mr. Hawthorne, who is 48, is highly invested in the notion of likeness. With clones, after all, what good does similar do? It is Mr. Hawthorne’s biotech company, BioArts, which is based here in the Bay Area but has arrangements with a laboratory in South Korea, that performed the actual cloning. He also has particular reason to be sensitive to questions that touch on the authenticity of the clones, given the history of his chief geneticist, Dr. Hwang Woo Suk of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. Dr. Hwang is perhaps best known for fraudulently reporting in 2004 that a team he led had successfully cloned human embryos and stem cells . After the false claims were unearthed, he was fired by Seoul National University, where he did his research as a professor. But he is also widely acknowledged for having been involved in successfully cloning an Afghan hound in 2005. “Dr. Hwang’s past is obviously controversial, but we feel that his lab and his record when it comes to dog cloning are the best in the field,” Mr. Hawthorne said. “He’s been very open with me about admitting his mistakes. Nobody says he lied about cloning animals.”
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01/04/2009 06:27 PM Living Together - Are Cloned Pets the Real Thing? - NYTimes.com Page 2 of 5 Elizabeth Wictum, associate director of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, said that earlier this year, she and her staff had taken sets of DNA extracts from Mr. Hawthorne’s puppies and compared them with stored samples of Missy’s DNA, and concluded that the results were
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This note was uploaded on 07/08/2009 for the course LIFESCI ls 4 taught by Professor Merriam during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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Jan 5 - Living Together - Are Cloned Pets the Real Thing -...

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