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5-Animals: First cloned cat definitely not the spit of her mother

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TITLE:  First cloned cat definitely not the spit of her mother
SOURCE: Telegraph, UK, by Roger Highfield
DATE:   Jan 23, 2003

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First cloned cat definitely not the spit of her mother

Grieving owners who want to bring back their dead pet with cloning will
end up with an animal that may not act or even look like the original,
according to studies of the first cloned cat.

CC (for carbon copy) is just over a year old. Her birth made headlines
worldwide when it was announced last February because it was the first
time a household pet had been cloned.

Now researchers at Texas A&M university have compared CC with her genetic
mother, Rainbow, to show that cloning does not mean simple duplication.
While Rainbow is a typical calico with splotches of brown, tan and gold
on white, her clone has a striped grey coat over white.

While Rainbow is reserved, CC is curious and playful. And while Rainbow
is chunky, CC is sleek.

CC's creation was funded by Genetic Savings & Clone, a company that hopes
to make money from people's desires to duplicate beloved pets. But those
who hope to resurrect a pet will be disappointed, said Dr Duane Kraemer,
one of A&M's animal cloning experts.

Environment is as important as genes in determining a cat's personality.
And as far as appearance, having the same DNA as another calico cat does
not always produce the same coat pattern.

Ben Carlson, a GSC spokesman, said the company tells owners that cloning
will not reproduce their pet and it has turned away customers.

He said: "In the long term, it's unethical, and the pet owner will
quickly find that, 'Hey, this isn't Fluffy, this puppy doesn't recognise
me or know all the old tricks.' "

But he said cloning could reproduce what a pet owner considers to be
exceptional genes, particularly from an animal with unknown parentage or
one that had been spayed or neutered.

[visit the Telegraph web page for more links]