Friday, October 4, 2019

Cloned cat lands on its feet with 10th life

On Friday, China's first cloned cat was officially delivered to its owner. China Daily comments:

According to reports, after the original cat called Dasuan died, its owner paid a biotech company 250,000 yuan ($35,150) to clone it. Born on July 21, the cloned moggy stayed in a nursery center for two months before being handed over to its owner.

There is no way to know whether the clone of Dasuan will feel at home, but one thing is certain, its owner will be happy to see his beloved pet "come home".

Of course, genes are only one of the factors that decide an animal's behavior, so although it may look the same, the "new" Dasuan might differ from the previous bearer of the name in character and behavior.

Although people have hailed the news as a major breakthrough in cloning technology, frankly speaking, it is not. Just as the chief scientist of the program said, Dasuan is the first cloned cat in China, but the technology of cloning cats has long been there and all they did was to test and apply it.

However, the cloning of Dasuan is still significant for China's cloning industry, because it is the first instance of commercial cat cloning in China. The owner paid 250,000 yuan for his pet to be cloned, which is what you would have to pay to buy a good car in China. Although with the successful cloning of Dasuan, the price is likely to come down, as more people choose to have their beloved pets cloned. This would help to form a benign cycle, as with the support of the market, China's cloning research and technology would prosper.

There is no law in China covering animal welfare, but in the Dasuan case the scientists have strictly followed a principle of avoiding hurting the animals. That might lay the basis for a standard of the industry. Only with proper standards and rules will the cloning industry flourish, and China's cloning technologies further develop.

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