A California company is planning a string of online auctions next month to clone five dogs, with the bidding to start at $100,000.
Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans. But the company behind the auctions, BioArts International, maintains that the technology is ready, and it is calling the dog cloning project Best Friends Again. It has scheduled the auctions for June 18.
The opening and closing times for the auctions would be staggered, to reach potential customers in different time zones, and that the starting bids for the later auctions would be higher “to steer people to participate in the earlier auctions if they can, and avoid a phenomenon of everyone waiting to see how they go.”
But Dr. Robert Lanza, the chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, a biotech company with laboratories in Worcester, Mass., voiced concern when a reporter described Best Friends Again.
“If anyone thinks they’re going to get Fluffy back,” Dr. Lanza said, “they’re gravely mistaken.” A cloned dog is “likely to be a totally unknown dog, just as if you went to the pound and adopted another, unknown animal.”