FunNature & AnimalThe cloning of deceased dogs is already a reality

The cloning of deceased dogs is already a reality

What is a clone?

A clone is a genetically identical copy of the original. A gene, a cell, a tissue, or even an entire individual can be copied.

When a complete individual is cloned, that is, cloned, the clone will be genetically identical to the original individual from which it was copied.

Cloning Features

  1. It occurs by asexual reproduction: there is, therefore, fertilization. There is only one recipient oocyte, but no sperm is involved. This differentiates two clones, from two identical twins. Twins have the same genetic endowment, like clones, but for their gestation the intervention of a sperm and an egg (sexual reproduction) is necessary.
  2. The most widely used technique is nuclear transfer: this technique consists of extracting the genetic material from the nucleus of an oocyte and replacing it with the complete genetic material from a non-reproductive cell of the individual to be cloned.
  3. The clone is gestated by a female of the species: embryonic development occurs inside the uterus of a recipient female who will give birth to the clone.

history of cloning

The first animal clone was a frog in 1952 using a transplant or nuclear transfer technique similar to that performed with Dolly the sheep in 1996.

Between the cloned frog and Dolly, sheep, goats, cows, pigs and rats were cloned, with a technique that uses embryonic cells or stem cells.

Why did Dolly become so famous?

  1. It was the first mammal cloned by nuclear transfer from a differentiated adult cell: specifically from a mammary gland.
  2. Dolly’s biological age was found to match that of the “mother” sheep from which the mammary cell was extracted four years earlier. In other words, Dolly’s cells were 4 years old at birth. This was evidenced in the length of telomeres that shorten with age.

Why do people consider cloning their pet?

  • Strong emotional bond: People who love their pets dearly have a common sorrow: “the life of cats and dogs is too short”
  • Inability to accept loss: saying goodbye to our dog or cat is a complicated process for many people. Not only because of the emotions of sadness and discomfort, but because of the changes in daily routine that produce stress and anxiety.
  • Preserve the exact genetic material of the cloned individual: a clone is a genetic copy identical to its predecessor and capable of transferring its genetic endowment to its offspring. That is, a clone is perfectly fertile. This perpetuates the reproductive period and the genes of the individual.

How much does it cost to clone a pet?

You can clone your cat for 25,000 euros and your dog for twice as much (50,000 euros)

Even more expensive is equine cloning , which is very popular, in order to safeguard the exact genetic endowment of champion and rare horses. This part of the business takes about 90,000 euros per cloned horse.

More and more celebrities and influencers are accessing this whim of cloning their pets. In the case of influencer dogs, clones also seem to be of interest to continue the legacy in the number of followers of their predecessors and brand sponsorships.

But beware, the copy is not the original

Can you imagine going out with someone and they tell you that their twin brother is going to go to the next date, because they are totally identical at the genetic level and you are not even going to find out. It would seem like a joke. Obviously they are not the same because:

  • There is a remarkable influence of the environment on genes: The phenotype or the observable expression of genes varies depending on the environment. There are genes that will only be expressed under specific environmental conditions.
  • Character is not born, it is made: character is unique and is forged from day-to-day experiences and learning. In the character is where genetics has a low percentage of influence.

Negative Points of Pet Cloning

  • High rate of failures: although it is possible and it is possible to clone an animal, it is laborious and it is never achieved on the first attempt. In the case of Dolly, for example, 277 attempts were necessary.
  • Moral: It seems selfish that, with the high percentage of abandonments, such rewarding options as adopting a new animal are not valued instead of trying to replace the deceased with a copy.
  • Animal welfare: the female donors of the host egg of the genetic material or the female that will host the embryo during gestation, have not had the freedom to choose if they wish to do so. The reality is that they are used as amphorae, to produce the demanded puppy “a la carte”

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