Sooam Biotech Research Foundation has cloned over 800 dogs since 2006, offering the service to bring your dead dog back for $100,000. Apart from their popular dog cloning service, they also clone cattle and pigs for medical research and breed preservation.
The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation can reincarnate your dead dog, a service that would delight pet lovers—for $100,000.
“These people have very a strong bond with their pets… and cloning provides a psychological alternative to the traditional method of just letting the pet go and keeping their memory,” said Sooam researcher and spokesman Wang Jae-Woong.
They specialize in cloning cattle and pigs for medical research and breed preservation as well, particularly developing genetically-engineered animals for use as disease models. But it is their dog cloning service that brings in the most customers: they’ve cloned almost 800 dogs since 2006, with their client base including princes, celebrities, and billionaires, as well as owners and agencies who want to replicate highly skilled sniffer and rescue dogs.
The process starts with putting your dead dog in the fridge—not the freezer, just the fridge. Oh, and don’t forget to wrap it in wet towels too.
In about five days of delivery to the facility, a mature cell from the dog can be successfully harvested, and copied; the DNA is then fused with a donor egg that has been stripped of its original genetic material. The embryo from this process is then implanted in a surrogate mother dog. Two months later, your dead best friend back to being a puppy.
Sooam’s most publicized project was its creation of five clones of Trakr, a rescue dog that found the last survivor of the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. It also conducted collaborations with other cloning facilities, such as BioArts International, which has since opted out of the dog cloning market.
Now the company is partnering with others in an ambitious plan to clone a mammoth from frozen remains found in Siberia.
While cloning in itself is already a hotbed of debate, Sooam’s founder Hwang Woo-Suk has a notorious past, further bringing the company’s moral and ethical foundations to question.
In 2004 and 2005, he published a claim stating he has successfully derived stem cell lines from cloned human embryos. This was later on found out to be a hoax. The scandal revealed numerous ethical violations.
In 2009, he was served a two-year suspended prison sentence for embezzlement and bioethical violations.
“I think the only way to win the public’s trust back is making more genuine scientific breakthroughs,” Hwang said.
Head researcher Jeong Yeon-Woo says Sooam’s dog cloning service remains as the company’s most fulfilling facet.
“They look like they found a child that had been missing,” Jeong said. “The moment of pure joy like that … makes me realize again why I’m doing this.”
CHINA’S CLONING INDUSTRY
The Boyalife Group, responsible for building the world’s largest cloning factory, says that it already has the technology needed for human replication, and that it is only holding back due to public perception.
The group is currently building the massive plant along the port of Tianjin, China, which is expected to begin production within the coming months. Output is aimed at one million cows cloned every year by the year 2020.
But according to chief executive Xu Xiaochun, the group’s activities won’t stop at just cloning cattle. While the factory intends to produce thoroughbred racehorses and dogs, it is also working with a South Korean partner along with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in improving their primate cloning capacity.
From there, it’s not hard to imagine the next step in cloning technology: humans. “The technology is already there,” says Xu. “If this is allowed, I don’t think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology.”
THE FUTURE OF BIODIVERSITY
Xu maintains that they are not currently engaged in human cloning activities. This is largely due to fear of adverse public reaction. But Xu points out that social values are subject to change, particularly in terms of people having more a choice in reproduction.
“Unfortunately, currently, the only way to have a child is to have it be half its mum, half its dad,” said Xu. “You either have fifty-fifty, or you have a choice of having the genetics 100 percent from Daddy or 100 percent from Mummy. This is only a choice.”
Xu presents cloning as a safeguard of biodiversity with the Tianjin facility to house a gene bank that will be able to hold up to five million samples in liquid nitrogen. This will serve as a catalogue of endangered species in hopes of regenerating them in the future.
Cloning animation : https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cloning-woolly-mammoth/