Patriotic Puppies -- and a Prize!

Posted by Pete Shanks June 23, 2009
Biopolitical Times

In our continuing coverage of "new life science" publicity-mongers BioArts, we note that they have now established Encore Pet Science as their pet-cloning division. This apparently replaces Best Friends Again, which in turn took over from Genetic Savings and Clone, which emerged from the Missyplicity Project.

By an extraordinary coincidence, Encore was launched at the same time as the announcement of puppies cloned from Trakr, a police dog that searched for victims in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Trakr was cloned for free, since his human companion won an essay contest, but the service is offered to anyone with $138,500 (plus sales tax and shipping where applicable) burning a hole in their pocket.

Now, puppies are always cute (except when cloning goes bad and leaves them  deformed), and patriotism is a sure-fire way to get headlines, but what else does this story need? A prize! And yes, indeed, the scientist behind the dog cloning was just awarded a prize for scientific excellence. Why was this not part of the publicity push?

Unfortunately, he was otherwise engaged -- with the Seoul District Court, defending himself against charges of scientific fraud. Yes, it's Hwang Woo-Suk. That saga also still looks set to run and run.

Previously on Biopolitical Times: