Biotech Firm Works With Fake Embryonic Scientist to Sell Cloned Dogs

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Biotech Firm Works With Fake Embryonic Scientist to Sell Cloned Dogs

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 21
, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( — A California-based biotech firm has announced it is working with disgraced a embryonic stem cell research scientist to sell five cloned dogs to the highest bidders. BioArts International is working with Hwang Woo-suk and scheduling the dog auctions for next month.

Hwang is the scientist who faked published reports of supposed successes with embryonic stem cells, which have never cured any patients.

However, Hwang was able to clone a male Afghan hound and the fallen scientist is apparently selling the cloning technology to make money for his latest projects.

“I know the association with Dr. Hwang is going to be controversial,” Lou Hawthorne, the chief executive of BioArts, told the New York Times.

“One of the contradictions of Dr. Hwang is that he made mistakes on his human stem-cell research, and he’s the first to admit that," he added. "Our main concern is simply he’s the best when it comes to dog cloning, and for that reason it behooves us to work with him.”

BioArts is the second project of Hawthorne’s, the Times indicated, after a first attempt at a company to clone cats for customers went belly-up when the technology didn’t pay off.

Hawthorne says the new company will charge $100,000 to make a replicate of a customer’s favorite dog.

To prove the science works, he had the firm make clones of his beloved dog who recently passed away and he claims three successful clones were created and verified.

Hawthorne told the newspaper that customers would be the judge of whether the cloning process is successful and will happily refund the money of anyone who is unsatisfied.

“We let that be subjective,” Hawthorne said. “If the client doesn’t feel it’s extremely high, comparable to identical twins," the client can obtain a refund.

The company would also guarantee the dog’s heath for one year in light of the need to euthanize Dolly the sheep — the first cloned mammal who was only born after hundreds of sheep embryos were killed.

Hawthorne admitted that only one to four percent of dog embryos survive to birth, indicating human cloning would result in the deaths of dozens of unborn children for the birth of just one person.