A South Korean company called Sooam Biotech is running a dog cloning contest for U.K. customers, with the top prize being 70 percent off cloning of the dog of your choice.
That’s a weird thing to do.
To enter, contestants must complete a 500-word essay explaining why their dog should be cloned. Videos and pictures are welcome. The winner will be selected based on the “most special and inspiring reason” he or she wants another dog that is the same as his or her current dog in all ways EXCEPT FOR THE PERSONALITY (emphasis ours). Seventy percent off is roughly $70,000 savings.
Why is the company doing such a thing? Not enough people are cloning dogs in the U.K.
“Although dog cloning is spreading to many parts of the world, the majority of cloners are still from the U.S.,” reads the Sooam Biotech website. “The biggest hurdle for most future cloners is the price tag. This hefty cost is necessary because many researchers put in months of effort to clone one dog.”
Of course, not everyone is thrilled about this, particularly people who understand that the personality probably won’t make the trip to the new dog alongside the DNA.
“I think that personality is really what most people are looking to clone,” said John Woestendiek, a dog-cloning investigator and author, according to NBC. “And I don’t think personality is clone-able.”
Also, did you know it’s pretty easy to find a dog that looks like your old dog? And you can most likely find a new dog that looks like your old dog just sitting there in any of thousands of shelters across the U.K., where he can be had for a whole lot less than $100,000 — or even $30,000?
Really, you just go in there and get a dog that looks like your old dog. People do it all the time. Keep your $100,000. Spend it on a boat or something.
Adding to the weirdness of this whole thing is the fact that the Sooam Biotech cloning operation is headed by former stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo-Suk, a pioneer in dog cloning who ran into some controversy when he falsified research data in a stem cell study.
And right now, while Woo-Suk waits for the winner of the contest, he’s trying to clone a mammoth with a group of Russian scientists who found a frozen one on an island in the arctic.
This is the plot of Iron Man 4, isn’t it?