A few years ago, I had this website passed along to me, http://www.missyplicity.com/. As the topic of discussion it entered was the cloning of pets (remember RE-PET** from The Sixth Day?), I had to check it out. Lo and behold the Missyplicity Project! ... Please click here to continue reading below.
The Missyplicity Project, is an undertaking in cloning, for one dog. That's right, just one in particular. Privately funded, which means that this money is not coming from U.S. taxpayers, but rather donated from a private source, a select team of researchers are being put to work to find a way to bring Joan Hawthorne and John Sperling's beloved Border Collie and Husky mix back to life in the form of a puppy.
Permission to use still images from Missyplicity.com
More on Missy
• The Missyplicity Project
• From the Washington Post : Missy passes away.
• Cloned Kitten: Hope vs Controversy
• To Clone or Not to Clone
• 'Hold the Clone,' Says Congressman
• To Clone or Not to Clone?
• Cloning Humor
• Human Cloning Controversy
• Biological Ethics: Cloning Revisited
Join the Discussion
" ... the owner's are calling for rapid conclusion of their project. "
On December 22nd, 2001, the first cloned pet was born of the Missyplicity Project. Texas A&M, College of Veterinary Medicine, produced the cloned cat, named CC, after it's genetic identity could be established, on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2002. Genetic analysis has confirmed that CC is indeed, a clone, a genetic copy of the original cat.
So why did I jump from Missy to CC? CC is the result of an experiment from the Missyplicity Project. And a successful one at that, after it was discovered that dog genes are harder to clone than cat genes.
Originally estimated that the entire Missyplicity Project would cost around $2.5 million dollars, The Missyplicity Project has exceeded that amount and now stands at at a cost of $3.7 million. And they are still working.
On July 26th, 2002, Missy's "parents" announced that Missy passed away on July 6th, 2002, at the ripe old age of 15 years. Both Hawthorne and Sperling admit there will be no way to replace Missy, they are hoping for a genetically identical "twin" to have Missy's unique traits. They are hoping to have their Missy clone by next year.
If Genetic Savings and Clone has their way, RE-PET** may be available sooner than we think. Well ... maybe not exactly. Even a genetic clone will lack the memories, training, and experience of the original pet. Not to mention the pet-overpopulation issue certainly is not helped any by this concept.
While there is no doubt that Missy was a beautiful dog, her fame and ongoing cloning attempts lead to numerous questions regarding the morality and ethics of cloning.
Is it morally right to make pet cloning available to pet owners everywhere?
As a dog owner who has loved and lost her "heart dog", I know from experience that had this been available to me, I may not have had the fortitude to resist cloning Loki. Hindsight is 20 - 20 though, they say.
Loki's genetic clone would also have been born with his epilepsy, and I would likely have lost his clone to seizures, the same as Loki. Remember, a genetic clone will have everything, good and bad. And there still would have been a difference. Instead of my friendly, fun-loving little buddy who adored me, I may have ended up with a friendly, fun-loving little buddy who adored one of my children. Hmmm ... now wouldn't that have caused a lot of hurt feeling? Mostly mine.
Loki's clone would also likely be different in a fundamental way, that I could tell, and let's face it. When you have expectations of something being just so, if it isn't just so, you feel resentment.
It was a much better, and healthier decision for me to add to my household the two other wonderful dogs I have now (in addition to Kari), and love them with a whole heart, for being who they are, rather than try to replace what I lost, and not be able to get past the fact that it just wouldn't be him.
So long Missy! You know you are missed now, and may you have peace and happiness over the Rainbow Bridge!
RE-PET, as mentioned from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, The Sixth Day, was a cloning facility in the movie. The concept behind this facility, was to have your pet cloned after it's demise, so that parents could avoid telling their children. Interesting concept. In the movie, RE-PET stated that all pets were "just like the original", and "no one would tell the difference".
• The Ethics of Human Cloning
• Understanding Cloning
• The 6th Day - VHS
• The 6th Day - DVD
Lo and behold the Missyplicity Project! ... Please click here to continue reading below.