"With clones, what good does similar do?"

1 minute read

Eric Konigsberg writes a long story in the NY Times with quirky stories about the joy or disenchantment with the results of pet cloning:

When Mr. Hawthorne recalls Missy, he tends to wax eugenic. She was an amazing dog: superior intellect, incredibly beautiful, obedient, a phenomenal temperament, he said. I especially loved her majestic plume of a tail. And in the clones, as he put it matter-of-factly, all those qualities are represented.

People who sell cloning services have a strong interest in portraying the clones as identical to the original pets. After all, if people just wanted a similar pet, they could get another pet of the same breed. For a price in the neighborhood of a Maserati, these buyers are looking for something a little more particular – if not their dead pet reborn, at least a facsimile.

Or a science fair project for their grandkids:

Last spring, Skye completed a science project, Cloning Grandmas Dog that included a behavioral comparison chart. Among other findings, the study concluded that Mira shares Missys fondness for broccoli and lots of snuggles both dogs scored five out of five points in these categories, in addition to the one for likes long walks. (Most dogs do, Skye noted under comments.) Two key matters of variance were Jumps into cars (Clone still learning which car is ours) and Hates camera flash (Clone did not respond to standard flash).

The story at the end of the article, about the proud first owners of a cloned dog from this particular company, is creepy:

Breathe, breathe, Mr. Hawthorne said. How does he look?
He looks like Neanderthal Man, Mr. Otto called out from the background.
No, he doesnt, his wife said.
I cant say he looks exactly like our other one, Mr. Otto shouted.
Yes, he does, his wife said.

Oh, yes he does. This is reminding me of the BBC show that investigated people who adopted “real baby” dolls. Weird.