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STOP CLONING AROUND: The rise of the animal cloning industry

As a growing number of species are cloned, including camels, cats and cattle, companies are springing up to offer cloning services. The practice has become big business.

HELEN PILCHER: Animals – from pets and livestock to working dogs and extinct species – are being cloned for a variety of purposes. But copying animals from their genetic material is creating problems as quickly as it’s solving them.

It’s almost 25 years since the most famous clone on Earth, Dolly the sheep, was born on a farm in Scotland. It was one small step for lamb, one giant leap for lamb-kind. Along with the celebrity bleater came promises of innovative applications, but at the time, no one really knew how cloning would come to be used.

Now, cloning is finally finding its niche. As a growing number of species are cloned, including camels, cats and cattle, companies are springing up to offer commercial cloning services. The practice has become big business.

Around the globe, hundreds of domestic and agricultural animals are cloned every day. As wild species start to be cloned too, it’s thought the technique could even help conservation.

But the ethical issues remain as large and divisive as the day that Dolly was born. So how is cell biology’s bête noire making a difference and what should we make of these genetic doppelgängers? SOURCE…

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