Friday, January 02, 2009

This Looks Familiar...

Perhaps, sometimes, at the long end of a night spent counting sheep in a futile effort to get to sleep, your mind wanders from sheep to Dolly to cloning, and you find yourself wondering whatever happened to the people behind Genetic Savings and Clone. Well, thanks to an end of 2008 article by the New York Times, you'll no longer have that distraction as you count your Dolly's. It seems that Lou Hawthorne, the man behind the Missyplicity project as well as Genetics Savings and Clone, is back again with a new company. This one is named BioArts, and it started off with five public auctions for dog cloning services. And if I'm reading the NYTimes article correctly, while the company is located in the California Bay Area, actual cloning services are being provided by Hwang Woo Suk's South Korean laboratory, also answering the "what is he up to now" question regarding the disgraced doctor, who appears to be the chief geneticist for Hawthorne's latest venture.

The article itself is full of the usual over-the-top promise of cloning-as-identical-pet/personality, but also has interesting comments from Hawthorne's mother, who doesn't think the clones are anything like her beloved original, Missy. Unfortunately, the final quote of the article, from Ed Otto (who paid $155,000 to have his dog Lancelot cloned) likely still accurately expresses the average person's perceptions of what cloning means: “Cloning means you could have the opportunity to have the same dog with you for your entire life."

It would seem that the "that's not quite what cloning is" side needs to step up their educational efforts. Perhaps someone should make a shiny website?
-Kelly Hills

No comments: