Ever fantasized about having a clone? You could get him/her/it to hit up jury duty for you, get your shots, visit the in-laws, etc. Sounds real nice! Well, we’ve got some good news – especially if you’re a dog and live in the UK. Cloning company Sooam Biotech has cloned the first pup and hope many others will follow. All they ask for is a cool 60,000 pounds, which you’ve probably got between the couch cushions. (Yeah, I don’t know much about foreign currency.)
(Image via Blue Eyed Ennis)
Now, about that first cloned pup. Her name is Winnie, she is a 12-year-old dachshund, whose owner Rebecca Smith simply did not want to part with Winnie due to dumb constraints like “time” and “nature.” Ms. Smith won a 60,000 pound contest to have Winnie cloned earlier this year, and a sample of Winnie’s skin was placed in liquid nitrogen and taken to a South Korean lab, where the mad science took place. From there, Winnie’s cells were put into the eggs of a donor dachshund. This approach actually makes cloning seem somewhat more natural than the giant-lazer-machine-spewing-out-multiple-clones approach many (see: I) associate with the practice. Five-months later, ‘Mini’ Winnie has grown fit enough to fly to Britain and meet her source material.
The question for you guys (and all of us as a society) is to what degree is Mini Winnie actually Winnie. Surely there are personality traits that Mini Winnie would develop on her own, right? Scientific advancements aside, would Ms. Smith have been just as likely to find a ‘new’ Winnie by adopting a non-clone pup dachshund?
Ms. Smith herself writes:
“At the end of the day I have got another mini Winnie. It might not be the same, but I will love it anyway and I love the fact it is so closely related to the original Winnie. It might not be for everyone but for the people who like it, let them enjoy it. And for those that don’t, why kick off about something that won’t effect you?
She has a point. Live and let [live] as Paul McCartney once wrote. Of course, we as a species need to think long and hard about how far we want to take this phenomenon. Let’s say your kid is getting out of their ‘cute phase’ and entering their ‘smelly preteen awkward phase.’ Are people gonna just start cloning their kids? Are we gonna have several The Prestige-scenarios on our hands? This got unintentionally deep. Here’s the Multiplicity poster with Winnie’s head instead of Michael Keaton’s.
(Image via Rogerebert.com)
What does everyone think? Would YOU clone YOUR pup?