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California company plans to clone dogs

May 22, 2008 | 12:00 pm

Bioarts_international_chief_exec__2The New York Times reports that a California company is planning a string of online auctions to clone five dogs. The bidding is to start at $100,000.

Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans. But the company behind the auctions, BioArts International, maintains that the technology is ready, and it is calling the dog-cloning project Best Friends Again. (That's BioArts chief executive Lou Hawthorne at left, with dogs cloned from his family pet.) It has scheduled the auctions for June 18. BioArts says it has licensed patents issued in the 1990s after researchers in Scotland cloned Dolly the sheep.

BioArts also arranged a partnership with the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. BioArts says one of the principal scientists there is Hwang Woo Suk, who in 2005 was involved in cloning a male Afghan hound. He and his Korean colleagues named that dog Snuppy, for Seoul National University puppy.

Photo: Associated Press

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