A Moment of Science

Cloning Pets

Is animal cloning for real? Find out on this Moment of Science.

One of our readers wrote in with this question: Is animal cloning for real? I want to have my cat cloned.

Well, animal cloning technology exists, but pet cloning isn’t quite there yet. And it may never be. You see, a clone isn’t a copy. It’s a separate, individual organism. The only thing a cat would have in common with its clone would be their genetic sequence.

As cloning technology has improved, more and more evidence has come out of clones that don’t look alike or act alike. For example, Ted Friend and Greg Archer, both at Texas A & M, have cloned piglets.

They report that there is just as much variation in appearance among the clones as among the non-clones. Some have bristly coats, others not; some have more teeth, some fewer.

The world’s first cloned cat was made by Duane Kraemer, also at Texas A & M. He reports that the clone has a different personality altogether than its clone mother–it’s much more friendly, in fact.

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