Click to use the Talking Dictionary 28. Cloning Pets

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A company in Phoenix, Arizona, says that it can now clone your cat. "Actually," said Felix Lee, President of Twice Is Nice, Inc., "you don't even have to wait until your beloved cat dies. We already have clients whose clone lives with its donor."

The price is steep. A clone of your cat will cost $50,000. First, your veterinarian must do a biopsy of your cat. This is sent to TwIN, Inc., where it is cultured to grow fresh new cells. These new cells are stored in liquid nitrogen until you notify TwIN, Inc., that you are ready for the clone. At this time, you pay half the amount ($25,000). A cultured cell is implanted into a female cat that is in estrus, and if all goes well, a kitten is born about 60 days later. The new kitten is weaned in about eight weeks. TwIN, Inc. delivers the kitten to you after it receives the remaining $25,000.

"We are a growing company," said Lee. "Our facility can handle about a dozen births a year now, but our goal is to produce about 50 kittens and 50 puppies a year." The company is currently experimenting with stray dogs. Some canine clones seem to be perfect, but some have been bizarre. Nevertheless, Lee believes that they will be successfully cloning dogs in about a year.


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