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Re-Pet, LLC
May 22, 2008 8:18 AM   Subscribe

BestFriendsAgain.com The Best Friends Again program, sponsored by BioArts International, is a limited commercial dog cloning program. BioArts is the only entity in the world with both the know-how and the legal right to practice commercial dog and cat cloning. We are auctioning off 5 dog cloning service slots to the general public. We may or may not perform any additional commercial dog cloning services after this auction.
posted by psmealey (53 comments total)

 
With all the strays in the world.... people have invested in this because there is a market of consumers who will pay for the service.

Sometimes the market does not seem efficient.
posted by three blind mice at 8:26 AM on May 22, 2008


The market is efficient. It's just kind of sad.
posted by brain_drain at 8:29 AM on May 22, 2008


No. Just stop. I love my dog like nobody's business, but there are already far too many other great animals that need loving homes. Even if I had the money, when her time here has passed, I'll go adopt another and then give whatever else I can to the shelter.

Put your money and research time into science that matters, asshats.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:30 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is just sort of creepy.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:32 AM on May 22, 2008


But how else can I make my Patches hypoallergenic?
posted by trueluk at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2008


From yesterday's NYT: If anyone thinks they’re going to get Fluffy back,” Dr. Lanza said, “they’re gravely mistaken.” A cloned dog is “likely to be a totally unknown dog, just as if you went to the pound and adopted another, unknown animal.”
posted by brain_drain at 8:36 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, exactly, brain_drain. It may be the genetic twin of your pet, but it's not the same animal with the same memory and experiences. It will look the same, but it will be like raising a new pet, and it may end up with an entirely different personality.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:40 AM on May 22, 2008


It will look the same, but it will be like raising a new pet, and it may end up with an entirely different personality.

Just like Chance and Second Chance.
posted by not applicable at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, this was an option I really wanted. Being a little older now, and having recently lost a long-beloved dog, I just find this sad and tragic. I feel like this will be a recourse for desperate, grief-stricken individuals and will end badly both for them and the cloned canine, since the owner will ultimately realize the replacement simply isn't one, and the dog will surely sense it. I may be wrong. I hope I am, but this cannot be good for any sort of mourning process.
posted by Muttoneer at 8:46 AM on May 22, 2008


This is really old news, my bros and sisses.
posted by Mister_A at 8:53 AM on May 22, 2008


Muttoneer: exactly. It'd be like Uncanny Valley of the Dogs.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 8:56 AM on May 22, 2008


Pepsi Two?
posted by abulafa at 9:00 AM on May 22, 2008


I think I saw on the news that the pricetag is around $100,000. Why not rent a private jet and search the globe for a rescue dog that looks exactly like your previous dog? I bet you'll even arrive home with some change.

OR, just save the $100,000 and drive to the local rescue and see what it's like when you took that chance on welcoming the previous dog into your loving home.
posted by timmins at 9:01 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I can enjoy some lovely Pepsi Blue while waiting for the cloning to finish.

Do you utilize canned luncheon meat in the process?
posted by WCityMike at 9:10 AM on May 22, 2008


Put your money and research time into science that matters, asshats.

Except that research into animal cloning isn't independent of other, more useful science research.
posted by jmd82 at 9:11 AM on May 22, 2008


Well, I'd never do it, but there's something to be said for getting a delayed twin of your beloved pet... they'd likely have the same temperment as your old dog, wouldn't they? That said, one black lab fetches just like every other black lab, so, yeah, adopt.

This seems more like performance art.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:12 AM on May 22, 2008


timmins, yes; the minimum bid is $100,000, which I'll point out by way of actually contributing to the conversation, when what I really wanted to say is that when I clicked on Mister_A's link to Pet Sematary the page loaded an ad for the Meerkat Manor movie that's coming out shortly and multiple identical meerkats started popping up and in the context of both the link and how I got there it really freaked me out.
posted by yhbc at 9:13 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there an episode of This American Life where an older couple cloned their pet bull? And unlike their WAY-too-beloved first bull, Bull v2.0 was a violent bastard who gored one of his owners time and time again. It was heartbreaking to watch them - they were so convinced that the new bull would basically be their old pet in a new body if only they gave him time.

And that's sort of the same thing with this. It kind of makes me mad. "What if you could be best friends again?" Well, you won't be. Not with Missy or Spot or Ralph. Missy's genetic blueprint isn't all that made Missy special. People who are hoping for that are going to get their hearts broken all over again.

...And then Missy will EAT THEM. Because the border wasn't meant to be crossed. The land is sour.
posted by katillathehun at 9:20 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


A cloned dog is “likely to be a totally unknown dog, just as if you went to the pound and adopted another, unknown animal.”

Likely to be? Likely to be? That guy should be beaten, allowed to recover, and then beaten again. A cloned dog will be a totally unknown dog, full stop. Temperament has as much to do with experience and training as it does genetics, and the chance that you're going to get both exactly as they were the first time is infinitesimal. And even if you do, the dog will not have any of the memories or knowledge that your old dog did.

There ought to be laws against this kind of mealy-mouthed, profit-mongering crap.

One interesting thing about pet cloning -- if you clone a calico or tortoiseshell cat, it won't even look the same. The patterns for calicos and torties are determined by X-linked inactivation, which means they occur at random while in the womb... and which also means that any clone of a calico will be made from a cell that's already been X-inactivated. Clones of calicos turn out one color or another, but not calico.
posted by vorfeed at 9:25 AM on May 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is all very sad, but it is only temporary.

Future generations will have the common knowledge that genetic clones will be nothing like each other. This will be as common knowledge in the future as how to use a microwave is now.

People who are currently cloning their pets are the cavemen who attempted to pick up fire with their bare hands. There is a window of time in new technology where people get it all wrong. These things pass rather quickly.
posted by unixrat at 9:29 AM on May 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


That's really interesting about the calico cat, vorfeed.

Yeah, I agree with everyone here, this is creepy and absurd. I swear my nutty dog breeding relatives are subconsciously trying to create clones through breeding. Buying a purebred is way cheaper than $100,000! I'll keep getting my dogs from the pound, thank you.
posted by red_lotus at 9:34 AM on May 22, 2008


The last thing we need is more damn yappy dogs around.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:43 AM on May 22, 2008


T.C. Boyle had a story about this in Harper's last year. Admiral. Unfortunately, you need a subscription to read it, and if you have a subscription, you've probably already heard.
posted by felix grundy at 9:55 AM on May 22, 2008


have we learned nothing from futurama?
posted by concreteforest at 10:00 AM on May 22, 2008


Wasn't there an episode of This American Life where an older couple cloned their pet bull? And unlike their WAY-too-beloved first bull, Bull v2.0 was a violent bastard

Yep, that was actually the first episode of their TV show as well as, of course, an earlier radio episode. Heartbreaking stuff, great segment.
posted by msalt at 10:06 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's really interesting about the calico cat, vorfeed.

There are photos of a cloned cat with its genetic donor and surrogate mother (both calico) here. The clone is really cute, but is not a calico and looks nothing like either of its mothers.

More on cat color genetics is here. It's complicated stuff -- no wonder a single litter of kittens often has so many different patterns! There's even a web page and a free program to help you predict them.
posted by vorfeed at 10:12 AM on May 22, 2008


Has Pet Sematary taught us nothing?!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:37 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've often thought the price you paid for the unconditional love from your pet was the pain and sadness of having them taken away from you after such a short time, relative to your less loving and longer lived humans you are forced to hang around.
posted by Ludi at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2008


vorfeed wrote "The clone is really cute"

Yeah, it is. But all kittens and puppies tend to be cute. Can't understand why that in itself isn't enough.

If you really want this kind of thing, do what my grandpa did: Keep buying the same breed over and over again, giving it the same name every time. Don't know how many wiener dogs he owned in my lifetime, but every one of them was named Fritzie.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:11 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Future generations will have the common knowledge that genetic clones will be nothing like each other. This will be as common knowledge in the future as how to use a microwave is now.

Nothing like each other? They will be genetically identical, no? That certainly is a very important likeness.

You're overstating your case. A cloned dog's appearance will be very similar to that of the donor animal. And in animals (like dogs) where there's a large genetic component to temperament, there will likely be similarities there, too. I'm of course not talking about learned behaviors, but behavioral tendencies like prey drive and herding behaviors are widely recognized to have a genetic component.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:14 AM on May 22, 2008


I personally don't see why people with more money than brains shouldn't be allowed to spend said money on whatever they want. It's not like someone with > $100K to spend on a cloned dog is going to go the pound and pick up a stray, now is it? So what if the clone only looks like their beloved Rex? Sure, they'll be disappointed but they can always clone another one, and another one, and...
posted by tommasz at 11:30 AM on May 22, 2008


pick up your clone at our production facility near Seoul, Korea

Hmm, after it spends eight weeks in a country where eating dogs is a matter of course, my clone just miiiiight turn out a little different from the one I weaned myself from its mother. This notwithstanding that I acquire all my dogs - not from the pound, where eugenics are never practiced - but from a reliable breeder who has carefully extracted undesirable traits from it and its relatives over the span of several generations.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2008


This notwithstanding that I acquire all my dogs - not from the pound, where eugenics are never practiced - but from a reliable breeder who has carefully extracted undesirable traits from it and its relatives over the span of several generations.

Sure, undesirable traits like functioning hips and the ability to breathe.
posted by vorfeed at 11:42 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Which is not to say that breeding is horrible or anything, but the idea that it's always (or even usually) going to produce a "superior" dog with fewer "undesirable" traits is not necessarily accurate. Several of the most popular breeds have run into major mental and physical health problems in recent years.
posted by vorfeed at 11:49 AM on May 22, 2008


The market is efficient.

No. No, it's not.
posted by grubi at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2008


vorfeed wrote "The clone is really cute"

Yeah, it is. But all kittens and puppies tend to be cute. Can't understand why that in itself isn't enough.


I agree. I've had some wonderful pets, but after they're gone you can't bring them back. The best thing you can do is get another, in time, and use the kindness and wisdom the previous one taught you to give it an even better life.

If you really want this kind of thing, do what my grandpa did: Keep buying the same breed over and over again, giving it the same name every time.

The betta fish on my desk at work is Mr. Fish (IV). I'd feel weird doing this with anything more individual than a fish, though. And even then, Mr. Fish III was head-and-fins over Mr. Fish I, II, and (so far) IV.
posted by vorfeed at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2008


...pick up your clone at our production facility near Seoul, Korea...

I didn't know they had Indian burial grounds in South Korea.
posted by Mister_A at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2008


vorfeed, I would argue the benifits of breeding if it were not a massive derail. The best I can do here is agree that if you're going to spin the wheel on a pound animal anyway (and for many people, that option is fine), this service is truly rubbish.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2008


I realize I'm late to the party with my Pet Sematery joke, but I would still like to point out that the soil of a man heart is stonier, Louis.
posted by rusty at 1:22 PM on May 22, 2008


have we learned nothing from futurama?

Jesus, don't remind me of that. Easily the most needlessly depressing episode of a TV series ever. It was so out-of-character, it was almost like the writers were sadistically fucking with us. The only thing in that episode that was even funny was the magic substance being named "Dolomite".

Besides, the Pet Semetary reference was way more apt.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is such epic fail.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:01 PM on May 22, 2008


Easily the most needlessly depressing episode of a TV series ever.

I was watching it for the first time, and I was sitting there like "So this isn't very funny, what gives?" and then it got to the end bit and I was all

WHAT
THE
FUCK
MATT?

And then I cried. I haven't watched that episode again.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:04 PM on May 22, 2008



And then I cried. I haven't watched that episode again.


Same here. I'd like to hear an explanation of what they were thinking when they wrote it. The pooch has a brief cameo in Bender's Big Score, so they even thought enough of it to reference it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2008


gorgor_balabala Koreans very rarely eat dogs. Urban Koreans almost certainly never do. Like fox hunting in England, it's carried out by a minority of people in the countryside, to the almost universal revulsion of everyone else
posted by MrMerlot at 4:37 PM on May 22, 2008


I cry just thinking of Jurassic Bark. Oh my god. I watched it with my fiance and even HE was teary-eyed at the end. We both started laughing incredulously. Then both of us sputtered some variant of, "What the fuck was THAT?" and little droplets of tears went everywhere.

Oh man, my throat is closing up. END COMMENT.
posted by Nattie at 5:03 PM on May 22, 2008


I'd like to hear an explanation of what they were thinking when they wrote it.

Emmy nomination. Not being tongue-in-cheek, I mean I'm pretty sure that's what they were aiming for. They got one, too, but lost out to the Simpsons. I'm sure the writers also appreciated the chance to do something else, too; not trying to say it was pure hunger for fame or anything.

Basically, if you look carefully, most seasons of Futurama have that one serious, heart-wrenching episode. None of them come close Jurassic Bark, but yeah. I think the rationale in letting the writers do something like that just once a year was that hey, maybe it'll get an Emmy. Everyone wins.
posted by Nattie at 5:08 PM on May 22, 2008


One evening a couple of years ago, my girlfriend and I had both had pretty rough days, and we were looking for something light and fluffy to cheer us up. "I know!", I said, "we can watch one of the episodes of Futurama I downloaded the other day!"

I don't even remember what the original problem was any more. But I remember Jurassic Bark.
posted by moss at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2008


Hmm, I have a cat, called Cat. She's about 8 years old, halfway through her cat life. If I clone her now, she'll be able to raise her own replacement (Cat-Squared), and I'll have endless opportunities to guffaw in a low-brow manner at the sight of Cat and Cat-Squared fighting over a patch of sunlight.

Even better, when Cat becomes elderly and Cat-Squared reaches maturity, I can get another clone (Cat-Cubed), and have three cats for the price of a single genome. Cat-Cubed will be the best yet, because she will be raised by both Cat and Cat-Squared.

And even better, when someone says to me "Oh, you're not one of those pathetic single men with three cats, are you?" I can answer "Just one cat, but I looped it." That'll be handy for rental applications too.
posted by Ritchie at 8:10 PM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just name your pet Hitler, then you won't feel bad when it dies.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:55 PM on May 22, 2008


You know who else was named Hitler?
posted by turgid dahlia at 11:03 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am a big Futurama fan, but I (thankfully) missed that one somehow. Now, having read the Wiki entry for Jurassic Bark, I will never watch that episode.
posted by psmealey at 3:35 AM on May 23, 2008


That episode had a vicious ending, didn't it? But notice how this very memorable, very sad episode had zero lasting effect on the Futurama world and characters? I imagine that constraint makes it pretty difficult to write a serious episode.


"It was just a matter of knowing the secret of all TV shows; At the end of the episode, everything's always right back to normal. — Fry S02E03


psmealey, I think you're missing out on a great episode. You should watch it. Maybe an episode of Futurama can make you cry. That's kind of neat, I think.
posted by ryanrs at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2008


"My favourite episode is the one about Fry's dog. It's got the most depressing ending in animated series' history. It makes you want to cry at the end. I was really blown away by that. A lot of people would expect me to say a Bender's episode is my favourite but that's not the case.

         — John DiMaggio (voice of Bender) posted by ryanrs at 1:27 PM on May 23, 2008


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