From the New York Times “Home & Garden” section, December 31, 2008.
By Eric Konigsberg
THE most difficult thing about the cloned puppies is not telling them apart, but explaining why they don’t look exactly alike. This was the problem Lou Hawthorne faced on a recent afternoon hike with Mira and MissyToo, two dogs whose embryos were created from the preserved, recycled and repurposed nuclear DNA of the original Missy, a border collie-husky mix who died in 2002.
To be sure, they have a very strong resemblance to each other and to Missy. It’s just that sometimes, as soon as people hear that the dogs are clones, the questions start coming:
“Why is one dog’s fur curlier?”
“Why aren’t the dogs the same size?”
“Why is one of them darker?”
“Why does this one have a floppy ear?”
Mr. Hawthorne, who is 48, is highly invested in the notion of likeness. With clones, after all, what good does similar do? It is Mr. Hawthorne’s biotech company, BioArts, which is based here in the Bay Area but has arrangements with a laboratory in South Korea, that performed the actual cloning.