Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Will Dog Cloning Become Mainstream as the Price Drops?

80beatsBy Eliza StricklandJanuary 30, 2009 9:40 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news


A Florida couple has just received a genetic copy of their beloved and deceased golden Labrador Sir Lancelot, naming the three-month-old puppy Lancelot Encore. The couple paid $155,000 for one of the first commercially cloned dogs in the world, and say the money was well spent.

"He was a wonderful dog," said Nina Otto, 66. "Money wasn't an object. We just wanted our wonderful, loving dog back" [ABC News].

The project was masterminded by the California biotech company BioArts. Lancelot Encore joins a handful of other dogs cloned either commercially or as a proof of concept, and the latest success seems to indicate that researchers have thoroughly overcome the scientific barriers to cloning man's best friend.

Canines are considered one of the more difficult mammals to clone because of their reproductive cycle that includes difficult-to-predict ovulations [Reuters].

Now the fate of the fledging pet cloning industry is largely dependent on whether dog lovers think that clones are worth the high price tag. However, just yesterday another cloning company announced a new technique that could reduce the cost of dog cloning to about $50,000 within three years. The Korean company RNL Bio announced that their new cloning technique has a much higher success rate than previous cloning methods, which will allow the price to drop.

Conventionally, scientists use skin cells taken from the donor to extract the DNA that they fuse with an egg to make a clone.... But last October, RNL Bio said, its scientists extracted fat tissue from the beagle, isolated and expanded the stem cells and developed 84 embryos that were transplanted into five surrogate mother dogs. One of those gave birth to two puppies, Magic and Stem, this week [BBC News].

While RNL Bio is accepting orders for commerically cloned dogs, grieving pet owners aren't the only people on the list. The company says pet owners

should be prepared for long waits because most commercial canine cloning is for working animals including sniffer dogs at airports [Reuters].

Related Content: 80beats: First Commercial Dog Cloning Operation Yields Five Little “Boogers” 80beats: Scientists Clone a Mouse From the Deep Freeze; Woolly Mammoths Could Be Next 80beats: Your Quarter-Pounder Just Might Have Come From a Cloned Cow (Indirectly)Image: BioArts

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In