Copy Cat

Move over Dolly, as CopyCat takes center stage in the cloning controversy. The kitten is the first successful clone of a domestic animal. Cloned from a cat named Rainbow, CopyCat is the result of research by the "Missyplicity" project. The Missyplicity research team at Texas A&M University is funded by a Texas millionaire who wants to clone his beloved pet dog, Missy. So why is CopyCat a cat and not a dog? Researchers simply had more success with cloned cat eggs than with cloned dog eggs.

CopyCat raises even more ethical questions than Dolly did back in 1997. Critics of cloning question the validity of cloning cats when there's such an overabundance of the species. Critics also believe that this new step into domestic cloning is for purely commercial reasons, creating a giant market for cloned pets. Researchers counter that argument pointing to the invaluable information gained from the procedures that resulted in CopyCat. Researchers say that information may eventually help clone endangered wild cats.

(Check out Monica Post's views on cloning endangered animals in the Viewpoints section.)

Source: Weiss, Rick. Washington Post. "CopyCat is First Cloned Pet." Friday, February 15, 2002. February 19, 2002.

Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
The Explore More project is supported by funds from the
Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
and the USDE Star Schools Program.