BOSTON (CBS) — This goes well beyond just keeping the memory of our dogs and cats alive. Some pet owners are now cloning their four-legged family members.
Yes, this is possible and it’s not cheap. Some people are spending well over the cost of a new car to keep their pet in the family. Pets like Baxter. He’s a 9-month toy poodle. He’s also a clone.
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Dolly the sheep was the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell, and like many firsts, she came to stand in for all of her kind.
So when scientists suspected she had short telomeres—stretches of DNA that normally shorten with age—people wondered if it was because she was cloned from an adult cell. When she started to limp at age five, headlines said that her arthritis “dents faith in cloning.” And when she died at age six—as the result of a common lung virus that also killed other sheep in her barn—her short life again became a parable about cloning. A certain narrative took hold.
Then last year, Kevin Sinclair, a developmental biologist at the University of Nottingham, published a paper about several clones including Dolly’s four “sisters,” who were created from the same cell line as Dolly and lived to the old age of eight (about 70 in human years). They were quite healthy for their age. So of course, he kept getting questions, like if these animals are so healthy, then why was Dolly so unhealthy? It was Dolly that everyone cared about.Read More
THURSDAY, Nov. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News)
— Dolly the sheep did not have early onset osteoarthritis after all, according to new research.
Experts at the University of Glasgow and the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom said their findings dispel original concerns about the nature and extent of osteoarthritis in Dolly, the first animal to be cloned from adult cells.
In 2003, reports suggested that Dolly was suffering from osteoarthritis at the age of 5½, leading to speculation about the risk of early onset diseases in cloned animals. However, no formal, thorough investigation of osteoarthritis in Dolly was done until now.
The research team did a radiographic assessment of Dolly’s skeleton, which is stored in the National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh. The skeleton showed no signs of abnormal osteoarthritis, according to the report.
The results show “that the original concerns that cloning had caused early onset osteoarthritis in Dolly were unfounded,” Sandra Corr, a professor of small animal orthopedic surgery at Glasgow University, said in a University of Nottingham news release.
The report was published Nov. 23 in the online journal Scientific Reports.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, often described as “wear and tear” arthritis. It’s the most common chronic condition of the joints, and occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
The Genetic Science Learning Center has more on cloning.
You love your dog. But would you spend $50,000 to clone it? If the answer is yes, then a Texas company is standing by and ready to help.Read More