“The basic pattern of his coat is the same, but the distinctive patch of black fur on his chin is gone..”
A Chinese biotech company, Sinogene, has created its first cloned cat from the cells of a deceased house cat. The 2-year-old cat that they cloned had died of an urinary tract infection. His name was Garlic or Dasuan in Chinese.
Garlic’s owner, Huang Yu admits that he delayed treating his cat. This may be the reason why Garlic died. As he felt guilty he decided to clone his cat at a cost of 250,000 yuan ($35,000).
The embryo of the cloned cat was implanted in a surrogate mother whose behavior was ‘maternal enough’ towards her cloned offspring. The kitten is apparently in good health.
“If an owner can’t get over the pain of losing their beloved cat, I think a clone might be a good idea to help them during the grieving process..” – Huang Yu
However after a long wait Mr Yu is a bit disappointed because his cloned Garlic is not an exact copy which you would expect. The patches of black fur on his chin are no longer there.
Mr Yu will have to wait until October before he can take Garlic II home.
“If the technology for cat cloning hadn’t been developed in time I probably would have lost Garlic for good — and then I’d have to live with regret for the rest of my life.” – Huang Yu
He means the regret of not seeking treatment for Garlic I’s urinary tract infection earlier.
Comment: I had thought that cat cloning should create an exact physical copy and that the character of the cat would be different because the cat’s life experiences will be different. However, in this instance the physical appearance is also slightly different. Perhaps that is too be expected because indentical twins are natural clones and they, too, can be slightly different. So cloning does not create an exact copy either physically or in terms of personality.
People who ask for a clone of their cat should recognise that fact. I think it is an important observation.
P.S. A website, Infoplease.com, says that you can’t clone from the cells of corpses. This confuses me as Sinogene say they cloned from a dead cat. Any ideas anyone?
P.P.S. The world’s first cloned cat – ‘CC’ – was born at Texas A&M University in December 2001.