MILLION-DOLLAR IDEA: Don't Say Goodbye To Your Dog, Just Clone It


Photo: BioArts

The Idea: The Custom Puppy is a clone of your dog. Scientist Lou Hawthorne began Custom Puppy when he created a genetic replica of his mother’s dog in 2007, followed by three “sisters.”From 2008-2009, Hawthorne delivered puppies to five customers for an astronomical average price of $144,000 each. 

Whose idea: Lou Hawthorne and his company, BioArts

Why it’s a bomb: Dog cloning may be used for good causes (BioArts has already created five clones of a search-and-rescue dog that worked at the World Trade centre after 9/11). However, cloning any living animal is opening Pandora’s box (remember Dolly, the sheep?). The controversies that dog cloning can ignite – in bioethics, the black market, and intellectual property – are too difficult to control. And controversies aside, the dog cloning market is too small to ever be commercially viable. Not to mention it’d be kind of eerie to have the deceased running around your back yard.

Hawthorne and BioArts seem to have recognised some of these problems; they announced the suspension of dog cloning on September 10th, 2009.

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