A little over a decade ago, Texas A&M University cloned a cat. That cat, appropriately named Copy Cat, is still alive and well (at least at the time of the report when she turned 10 years old). She has a great life and a great home.
But was she a carbon copy of her donor mother cat? Not at all. She looks nothing like her “mother.” You can read the AP article here.
It’s Tuesday, so that means TINSTAAFL Tuesday. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Check out my other TINSTAAFL Tuesday posts about DNA manipulation: Welcome to Gattica and Tracking Pooch’s Poo.
When animal cloning seemed to be on the horizon, many people wanted to store tissue samples of their beloved pets so they could recreate that same animal later after the dog or cat passed over the rainbow bridge. The company called Genetic Savings & Clone (catchy, huh?) were ready to store genetic material and eventually produce clones for $50,000. Keep in mind, there is no promise that the resulting cat will be anything like the original. It might look the same, but it probably won’t act the same.
Um, hello, there are some pretty incredible shelter cats that would love to have nice homes at a fraction of the price. My sister-in-law found two adorable kittens that need homes now.
The company closed in 2006 due to the lack of demand for cloned cats. Evidently, the business was not sustainable. Well, no surprise there.
I just found this other article about cloned cats that glow! South Korean scientists modified the DNA of cloned cats so they glowed red in ultraviolet light. More recently in the US, a cat was cloned–he glows green. Take a look at this video:
Much of the latest research that is going on now is in the direction of cloning endangered animals, rather than resurrecting dead pets. I’m not sure how making them glow has anything to do with saving a species, but I have a great idea for a science fiction story in the works now.
Just remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch. 😉