The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea can clone dogs. The cost though, is about $100,000. Still, some consider the chance to maintain a relationship with their dog past the natural lifespan to be worth the very hefty price.
“There was something special about her, as if we knew each other for a long time,” said one man who cloned his dog, Wolfe. (Source: BakersfieldNow)
“Cloning technology is possible at Sooam for any dog no matter its age, size, and breed. Sooam not only performs dog cloning research, but we also heal the broken hearts,” says the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.
The technique used there is similar to the one that produced the sheep clone named Dolly. The process is somatic cell nuclear transfer, where genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult cell is inserted into an egg nucleus, which has had its genetic material removed. This newly reconstructed egg containing DNA from a donor cell must be treated with chemicals or electric current for cell division to take place. The cloned embryo is then placed in a host for gestation and birth.
The cloning procedure at the South Korean facility doesn’t always go smoothly though. John Woestendiek, the author of Dog, Inc., said some of the surrogates are sent back to farms where they are used for food. Additionally, there are large numbers of animals in shelters in need of help, so spending $100,000 on one seems wasteful.
Ultimately it seems what these dog cloning stories might reveal is our unwillingness to experience life as it is, meaning the experience of change is about letting go. Emotionally what we experience as loss is very painful, but it helps us appreciate that death is a part of life, and life is constant change.
Image Credit: tanakawho, Wiki Commons
(Note: The dogs pictured above are not clones.)