California biotech company BioArts International is holding an unusual auction, called Best Friends Again. With bidding starting at $100,000, the company promises to ... clone your dog!
His new company, BioArts, began work last fall to clone Missy, he said, who was three-quarters border collie and one-quarter husky.
Missy died in 2002 at age 15. But Mr. Hawthorne had taken genetic samples from Missy in 1997, and had more taken after she died.
In December, he said, a clone was born, Mira. Two other clones of Missy, Chin-Gu and Sarang, were born in February, he said. Tests by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, indicated that the three dogs were clones, not just relatives.
As for the auctions, Mr. Hawthorne said the bidding would start at $100,000. He said that was a starting price, not a minimum, and could drop.
He said that the opening and closing times for the auctions would be staggered, to reach potential customers in different time zones, and that the starting bids for the later auctions would be higher “to steer people to participate in the earlier auctions if they can, and avoid a phenomenon of everyone waiting to see how they go.”
He said that BioArts would not spend the money “unless and until we deliver a cloned dog that they sign off on,” and that the company would guarantee the resemblance between the customer’s dog and the clone.