Give Your Dog a Clone; Puppies: Chingu and Sarang, above, Are Clones of Missy, Right
Byline: David Derbyshire
AS they scamper in the grass, they look like any other adorable puppies.
But these two playful pups - and a third from the same DNA donor - are theworld's first commercially-cloned dogs and are now at the centre of a hugeethical and scientific row.
The U.S. company behind their creation will next month hold an online auctionto give five wealthy pet owners the opportunity to have their dogs cloned.
The successful bidders will be able to make an identical copy of an existingpet -- or create a new puppy from the frozen tissue of a long-dead pet. Biddingis expected to begin at more than $100,000 - about [pounds sterling]50,000.
While pet cloning may appear to be little more than a bizarre and morbidextravagance for the super-rich, it comes at a high price.
Cloning is still very much a hitand-miss procedure and for almost every successcomes a stream of miscarriages, stillbirths and premature deaths.
Animal welfare campaigners and ethical experts have condemned the move,accusing BioArts - the company offering the service - of exploiting owners'fears over losing a pet.
But Lou Hawthorne, head of BioArts, believes there will be no shortage of thosewilling to pay for the chance to copy a beloved dog.
'It could easily end up being price comparable to a luxury car, or a vacationhouse,' he said. 'It's not going to be cheap. But then the process isn't cheap,it's a very complex and expensive process.' The three puppies - named Mira,Chingu and Sarang - were created from small pieces of skin and other bodytissue taken from Missy.
Prior to her death, she belonged to Mr Hawthorne's mother.
Samples of Missy, a collie-husky cross, were taken in 1997 and after her deathin 2002. …