California-based BioArts International is planning to clone five dogs, for a few lucky--and wealthy--pet owners willing to pay the price. Starting next month the company will hold five auctions with bidding starting at $100,000 as part of its "Best Friend Again" cloning project. BioArts has aligned itself with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea, where the now-infamous Hwang Woo Suk is a lead scientist. While he is best-known for making fraudulent claims about the success of his human embryo cloning effort, Woo Suk was also part of a team the successfully cloned a puppy in 2005.
"I know the association with Dr. Hwang is going to be controversial," Lou Hawthorne, CEO of BioArts, said in The New York Times. "Our main concern is simply he's the best when it comes to dog cloning," Mr. Hawthorne said, "and for that reason it behooves us to work with him."
So what does one get for $100,000? A guarantee that the dog BioArts produces is identical to the original. The customer can get his or her money refunded if they don't feel the cloned dog is up to par.
- read the New York Times article