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Puppies of Hero Pit Bull Booger Are World's First Commercial Clones

A dog is not just for Christmas, or even for life. If you've got the cash, it could be for eternity.

South Korean biotechnologists have engineered a pet resurrection that, until recently, seemed commercially impossible: they have reunited a Californian woman with her dearest friend - or, at least, genetic copies derived from the frozen remains of his ear.

More than £25,000 the poorer but weeping with joy, Bernann McKinney, 57, became the world's first paying customer yesterday in the strange new industry of canine cloning.

Held in her arms was a quintet of newborn puppies, genetically identical not only with each other but with the late, lamented Booger, a pitbull terrier who died of old age two years ago.

Declaring the whole affair a "miracle", Ms McKinney said: "They are perfectly the same as their daddy. I am in heaven here. I am a happy person."

Ms McKinney paid a high financial price for the reunion. Even at the knockdown fee offered to her as a first-time cloner, she had to sell her house to meet the cost.

"I had to make sacrifices and I dream of the day, some day, when everyone can afford to clone their pet, because losing a pet is a terrible, terrible loss to anyone," she said.

After ten years of happy companionship, Ms McKinney felt the loss of Booger keenly. This was, after all, a ferociously loyal hound who had once saved her life by fending off an attacking mastiff.

Ms McKinney's hand and legs were savaged in the attack and, she said, it was only via Booger's loyal assistance - fetching her clothes and shoes, bringing her cans of drink and opening doors - that she was able to make it through the long months of recuperation.

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post Aug 11 2008, 05:39 PM

Woah! Make an alter... Create a holiday for the dog.. but DO NOT CLONE your pet.

What about all the dogs in pounds on death row??

Cloning is stupid and ultimately hurts all the "natural" animals out there.

Humans are the dumbest animal. We are destroying our earth and everything on it with our capricious desires... We need to wake up and be the so-called intelligent species we say we are.

post Aug 13 2008, 09:23 PM

This woman was recently arrested, after her picture was recognized by a man she kidnapped some years ago. She is a nut. Only a nut would clone their pet and believe it to be the same.

post Aug 13 2008, 11:55 PM

The evidence points to the fact that the franken-science of cloning animals has been a dismal failure and that all clones ultimately suffer from disease and die an early death. Here are three of numerous documented studies:

1. Scientists report in Nature Genetics that female cloned cows that die just after birth have unusual patterns of DNA inactivation. The results may explain why cloned animals often die soon after being born.

2. A group of scientists in Japan has shown that clones die younger than animals created by old-fashioned sexual reproduction.

3. The National Academy of Science reports that data on the reproductive cloning of animals demonstrates that only a small percentage of attempts are successful, many of the clones die during all stages of gestation, newborn clones often are abnormal or die, and the procedures may carry serious risks for the mother.

It's my fervent belief that cloning is and will forever be a failed science. It has been demonstrated time and time again that any animal which man attempts to replicate, sickens and succumbs to an early death.

You don't need a Harvard degree to realize something is inherently wrong with this bizarre practice. This is not about splicing similar genes of an apple here. The unethical process of cloning of animals involves manipulation of DNA and egg cells involving chemicals and radiation, often with animals whose health is already compromised.

A clone has no conscience and no soul and is imperfect because it is devoid of the one gene that man can never duplicate - the one that originates from our Creator's imprint.

Then again, having a belief in a 'Higher Power' has never been one of a scientist's strong points. There's too much filthy lucre at stake to support that theory.

The fact that multi-billions have already been squandered on genetics and its associated research -- with absolutely nothing of benefit to show for the general public -- is a damning indictment of this fallacious profession.

The "hard" science dictates that cloning, genetics, stem-cell research and the like are nothing more than pseudo-sciences that only benefit those with a vested interest.

post Today, 03:02 PM

Cloning is not only inhumane to the pet but just such a waste of money. Think about how many cats and dogs in animal shelters that 25,000 pounds could have helped. I don't know what the situation in the UK is with unwanted pets but in the US about 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year because there aren't enough homes for them. As for farm animals, cloning is inhumane as well and the money spent on cloning livestock research could be far better spent on promoting more humane, sustainable, healthier and efficient plant-based diets. Promoting reduced meat consumption and plant-based diets is the how we should be addressing food security issues around the world, not cloning. People always want a techno fix.