They Have Cloned The Cat. Now They Want The Original’s Memories Implanted on The Clone

Garlic is a lovable cat with a pink nose and tiny gray ears. He looks identical to his original.

“My cat died of urinary tract disease,” Garlic’s owner Huang Yu told the Global Times. “I decided to clone him because he was so special and unforgettable.”

Garlic may be biologically identical to his original, but he’s not the same cat. He has his own personality and he has his own memories.

While they have successfully cloned the cat (which is the first cloned cat in their country, by the way), China’s Sinogene Biotechnology Company is not content with just cloning the body. They state that the next level would be using artificial intelligence to transfer the original’s memories over to the clone.

Sinogene’s general manager told attendees at a press conference on Monday that “to make the cloned animal share the same memories with the original, the company is considering the use of artificial intelligence or man-machine interface technology to store them or even pass the memories to cloned animals,” wrote the Global Times, a paper run by the Chinese communist party.
While there’s no telling whether that’s even technologically possible, the fact that Sinogene is even looking into it could be taken as a sign that there’s a demand for pets that are identical — in both body and spirit — to their predecessors.
And that’s disturbing on a number of levels.
Cloning pets is already controversial — scientists have claimed that cloned animals aren’t as healthy, with shorter lifespans than naturally born animals, while some animal activists have argued that cloning pets is unethical given the number of shelter animals in need of homes.

What are your thoughts on this one?

(Image Credit: Seanbatty/ Pixabay)

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A "clone" is an identical twin, and not an identical copy. Whilst the genetic code may be identical, neural pathways will not be. It is a different being, with (as rightly noted) its own memories and identity.
And though I do not doubt that imprinting memories may be possible in the future (our brains are more manipulable than we care to admit), I do not think transference is possible. It would be like trying to clone your Windows 95 computer onto a Commodore Amiga, ignoring the different internal architecture. You may get some memories transferred, but the neurons won't match.
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I agree with Funky Freya and Peterwok: cloning creatures is 21st century Frankenstein-ian and the resulting animal will never be the original, no matter how hard they try to sell that aspect. I treasure the memories of every animal I've ever owned but honor them by adopting new shelter babies after they pass, acknowledging acceptance and the knowledge that they were truly "one of a kind." This AI transference angle advances the creep factor to a new level!
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