JT Barnhart reports for PSFK on his NextFest conversation with Ben Carlson VP of communications for Genetic Savings and Clone Inc., a company that will, as the name suggests, bank the genetic code of your favorite pet for future cloning as well as actually clone the pet when you are ready.
At last weekend’s NextFest, PSFK had the opportunity to talk with Ben Carlson VP of communications for Genetic Savings and Clone Inc., a company that will, as the name suggests, bank the genetic code of your favorite pet for future cloning as well as actually clone the pet when you are ready.
The process involves taking the genetic code from a skin cell and implanting it into a de-nucleated egg… yeah, they build a fertile egg out of parts then stimulate it to divide with electricity and implant it into a surrogate mother; and we have seen the evidence of at least one success.
Aside from the volumes of technical talk we could get into and the other volumes on ethical debate, there were a few really interesting items that developed out of the discussion with Ben.
My first thought was "What animal would be the most profitable to clone?" The only thing that came to mind was race horses. The answer was as expected, "Yes." Ben also stated that horses had been cloned already and that since the technology exists and is proven it would be a natural direction to take the service. Perhaps the next fad among the ultra-rich equestrian set will be clones of Kentucky Derby winners.
One of the other interesting things was finding out that, not surprisingly, cloned cats are not allowed in the big cat shows. So, as well as cloning the cats, there is a deal in the works to register the genetic code of all those expensive show animals. So, we can likely expect about a $300 increase in the cost of registered pure bread show cats soon. They are also planning to clone dogs later this year. This could get complicated very fast. $295 is the current cost of basic banking of your pets’ genetic code. There is also a $100 dollar annual fee for the storage. For more comprehensive banking expect to pay $1395.
As for the cloning itself one of the strongest selling points to the crowd was being able to get the exact "breed" of a favorite mixed breed animal as many times as you can plunk down $32,000 dollars. A fee that is a lot of money for a pet but sort of astoundingly low when you consider how you get it.
The other obvious question that got asked enough that I didn’t have to was, "Any plans for using this technology to clone humans?" Ben answered with a resounding, "No, and there never will be."
Genetic Savings and Clone Inc.