& Clone: As Sick as it is . . .
. . . GS&C is NOT a Joke!
GSC's initial service is gene banking: cellular DNA is first extracted from your animal by your own veterinarian using materials supplied by GSC, then the samples are shipped to GSC via BioBox™, grown in culture in GSC's laboratories for up to one month, then finally cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen.
Anyone can order GSC services, either online or by calling 866-9CLONES (866-925-6637), but a licensed veterinarian must agree to perform the tissue sampling procedure before GSC will fulfill an order. If your veterinarian is unable to perform the tissue sampling, we can assist you in locating a veterinarian in your area who is able to do so.
In order to avoid the receipt of more perishable tissue than we can process in a day, GSC's web-based software selects the date for the tissue sampling of your animal by your veterinarian. The date that our software proposes for tissue sampling — which of course you can change to a later date if necessary — depends in part on the grade of service purchased. GSC offers two grades of service:
Standard service is for live, healthy animals. Standard orders are scheduled at the end of the existing job queue — which could be days or weeks in the future (the next available processing slot is indicated at the time of order). Standard jobs ship with a BioBox™, which allows for the transport of two tissue samples plus spare transport tubes and reagent. The price for Standard service orders is $895 each, plus shipping.
Emergency service is for terminal or recently deceased animals (up to one week post-mortem depending on storage conditions, though the sooner the better). Emergency service is performed post-mortem, and therefore more invasive tissue sampling can be done than is the case with live animals (samples obtained by such means may yield better results for cloning than less invasive samples). For this reason, Emergency jobs ship with a BioBox™ Magnum, which allows for the transport of four tissue samples plus spare transport tubes and reagent. Emergency orders ship the day they are received, with tissue sampling scheduled for the following day, and processing scheduled to begin the day after. The price for Emergency service orders is $1395 each, plus shipping.
The annual maintenance fee for Standard jobs is $100 per year, versus $150 for Emergency jobs (which involve twice as much tissue). The first year's maintenance is included in the initial service fee for both grades.
The standard tissue sampling procedure involves your veterinarian removing two small skin samples - using either local or general anesthesia. For most animals, the worst part about the entire procedure is being in the veterinarian's office. If your veterinarian is unable to perform the tissue sampling, we can assist you in locating a veterinarian in your area who can do so. The fee for the initial tissue sampling is between you and your veterinarian.
After numerous experiments and actual post-mortem jobs, we can only accept post-mortem jobs on a case by case basis. Remember, if your animal dies unexpectedly, DO NOT FREEZE THE BODY, (cool but not frozen is best) and call GSC immediately.
GSC maintains redundant sets of client DNA at two independent locations — a main facility and an "offsite backup" facility — in case of fire or natural disaster. Our main cryotanks have alarm monitors in case of problems, and are also inspectable via web cam. Our physical plant is access-restricted 24/7, and is also alarmed and patrolled.
DNA fingerprinting is a process that uniquely identifies a given DNA sample for later comparison with another DNA sample, as a way of certifying a clone for instance. DNA fingerprinting is performed on all tissues received by GSC as part of our normal quality assurance procedures.
Transfers From Other Gene Banks
There is a $500 reprocessing charge for transfers from other gene banks, which is required before GSC will attempt to clone animals whose DNA was originally processed by other banks.
Welcome to the home page for the Missyplicity Project, which aims to clone a dog for the first time in history - a specific dog named Missy. Missy is a beloved pet, getting on in years, whose wealthy owners wish to reproduce her - or at least create a genetic duplicate (which we all know is not the same thing).
The Missyplicity Project is funded and managed by Genetic Savings & Clone, a gene bank and cloning company with offices in College Station, Texas and Sausalito, California. Key portions of the Missyplicity research are performed by scientists based at Texas A&M University, also in College Station, Texas.
One very special part of the Missyplicity Project is Operation CopyCat, a cat cloning research project which recently bore its first fruit, named "CC."
The main purpose of this website is bi-directional communication. We've assembled a team of world-class scientists to do the cloning on Missy, and will keep you informed of developments along the way. We invite your feedback - whether positive or critical - and will also be posting selected comments (and not just the flattering ones). PLEASE review all sections of this site before emailing us, so you really understand what we're doing.
Most people who meet Missy feel she is a special dog, and another purpose of this website is to share stories and pictures of her. We hope you enjoy them; we'll be adding new ones on a regular basis. We're currently planning a "Friends of Missy" section, so send us your animal pictures (jpeg format), doing that wonderful thing only THEY can do.
In addition to cloning a really great mutt, this project also has more socially-beneficial goals, and is strongly ethics-driven. We encourage you to visit our new Adoption Center. As we promised in our Code of Bioethics when we began this project in 1997, all associated dogs - other than Missy and her clones - become available for adoption on a regular basis: healthy, happy, spayed and trained!
To the press: We welcome your interest and encourage you to visit the Press section of this site, where you'll find an explanation of what we can and can't do to support you, as well as links to press releases and online third-party articles and editorials.
To the left is a list of other sections of this site. As you roll your cursor over each item, you'll see a brief description in the status display area of your browser (usually the bottom of the active window).
Thanks for your interest in the Missyplicity Project!
source: http://www.missyplicity.com 17feb02
The Missyplicity Project is being executed by a team of world-class scientists and technicians headquartered at Texas A&M University (TAMU), in College Station, Texas. Several senior scientists from other major universities and institutions have also been recruited. More complete biographical data will be posted in the near future, but for now, here are the senior team members:
Dr. Mark Westhusin, TAMU - Principal Investigator, Nuclear Transfer Specialist Dr. Duane Kraemer, TAMU - Embryo Transfer Dr. Robert Burghardt, TAMU - Tissue Culturing, Analysis, and Cryopreservation Dr. Lisa Howe, TAMU - Animal Tissue Collection
Dr. Mark Westhusin:
Dr. Mark Westhusin obtained a B.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Veterinary Physiology from Texas A&M University in 1986. After graduation he worked as a Research Scientist for Granada Biosciences Inc., where he was responsible for researching improved techniques for cloning cattle. In April of 1992, Dr. Westhusin accepted a position in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at Texas A&M University where he is currently an Associate Professor.
Dr. Westhusin's professional experience includes original research on the cloning of mammals, reproductive physiology, mammalian fertilization, early embryonic development, and the production of embryos using in vitro technologies. Dr. Westhusin has also taught undergraduate courses in mammalian physiology and continues to teach a graduate course in Gamete and Embryo physiology. A primary responsibility includes grant proposal preparation and acquisition of extramural funding for graduate student stipends and research support. Dr. Westhusin's current research budget exceeds $1.3 million per year and includes support from both private and public sources. Currently more than 20 employees and/or students are either directly or indirectly under his supervision. In addition to overseeing a large research program, he reviews manuscripts for several scientific journals and is on the editorial board for a new journal titled "Cloning". He has published numerous scientific manuscripts and has been an invited speaker to many national and international scientific functions.
Dr. Westhusin is the Principle Investigator on the Missyplicity Project and is ultimately responsible for overseeing the entire project. Besides this role, he is also in charge of those activities specifically related to nuclear transplantation.
Dr. Duane Kraemer:
Dr. Duane Kraemer received a B.S. Degree in Animal Husbandry from the University of Wisconsin in 1955, and four degrees from Texas A&M University; M.S. in Reproductive Physiology (1960), B.S. in Veterinary Science (1960), D.V. M. (1966) and a Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology (1966). Since that time he has worked as a Research Scientist at the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education in San Antonio, Texas and then moved to the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at Texas A&M University where he has been since 1975.
Dr. Kraemer's professional experience includes organization of the first commercial embryo transfer company and co-founding the Project Noah's Ark Foundation. Dr. Kraemer has taught reproductive physiology to veterinary students and gamete and embryo physiology to graduate and undergraduate students. He has supervised numerous M.Ag., M.S., and Ph.D. students and generates extramural funding for graduate student stipends and research support. Dr. Kraemer has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international scientific functions. He has authored or co-authored 105 papers in refereed journals, 36 chapters of books or proceedings, 83 presented papers, and 23 posters during his career. Dr. Kraemer has conducted research in the science of embryo transfer and related technologies since 1960. He and his colleagues and students have transferred embryos in more different species than any other group in the world. In several species, such as the baboon (the first of the primates), cat, dog, whitetailed deer and suni antelope, they produced the first embryo transfer offspring in the species. He and his students demonstrated the process of cloning embryos at the International Embryo Transfer Society Annual Conference in 1992. They have published the first paper on the possibilities of interspecific and intergenic nuclear transfer, in attempts to develop techniques to preserve endangered species.
Dr. Kraemer is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Missyplicity Project. Dr. Kraemer is in charge of providing mature ova for cloning experiments and transfer of cloned embryos to synchronized recipients.
Dr. Robert Burghardt:
Robert C. Burghardt received a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Wayne State University. He did postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Anatomy and Laboratory of Reproduction and Reproductive Biology, prior to accepting a faculty position at Texas A&M University in 1978. He is currently a Professor in the Departments of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, and Medical Physiology at Texas A&M and serves as the Director of the College of Veterinary Medicine Image Analysis Laboratory. He is also a member of several Texas A&M interdisciplinary faculties including the Faculties of Reproductive Biology, Faculty of Toxicology, and Center for Animal Biotechnology. He has over 25 years of experience in Reproductive and Cellular Biology and the use of cell/tissue culture systems and microscopic imaging technologies for the study of intercellular communication and cellular signal transduction in normal and disease states.
Dr. Burghardt is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Missyplicity Project with responsibilities for isolation, propagation, and characterization of cells used for nuclear transfer experiments.
Dr. Lisa Howe:
Dr. Lisa Howe received her DVM degree from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. She then did a 1 year internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a 3 year residency in Small Animal Surgery at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Following the residency, Dr. Howe did a Ph.D. (completed in 1993) in Veterinary Physiology at Texas A&M. In 1993, Dr. Howe joined the faculty of the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine as a small animal surgeon specializing in soft tissue and elective surgery. Dr. Howe became a boarded Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994.
Dr. Howe is a Co-Investigator on the Missyplicity Project, responsible for coordinating animal tissue collections performed in the Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and helping to establish experimental surgical and anesthetic protocols.
1) Clone Missy.
2) Improve basic understanding of canine reproductive biology. Because this field lacks agribusiness funding, which underwrites the study of cows, sheep, pigs, and other agricultural animals, far less is known about the reproductive physiology of canines than many other animals. Dozens - perhaps hundreds - of scientific papers are likely to result from this project.
3) Enhance reproduction of endangered species, especially endangered canids. We intend to develop non-profit partnerships to provide technical know-how on canine reproduction (IVF and cloning) to organizations attempting to repopulate endangered canines, including numerous varieties of wolves, foxes, and wild dogs. Toward this end, the Missyplicity Project is collaborating with Project Noah's Ark, an endangered species research project also based at Texas A&M.
4) Develop improved canine and feline contraceptive and sterilization methods. If one understands canine reproductive physiology well enough to clone a dog or cat, one is well on the way to possessing the requisite knowledge to develop effective pharmacological contraceptive and sterilization methods, as a way of preventing the millions of unwanted dogs who are euthanized in America every year. To realize this goal, the Missyplicity Project will be collaborating with both Genetic Savings & Clone (GSC) and leading contraceptive research program (to be announced).
5) Replicate specific, exceptional dogs of high societal value, including assistance dogs for people with disabilities, and search-and-rescue dogs. A high percentage of dogs in service training fail to complete their programs. While these are generally fine dogs by normal standards, they lack the specific combination of intelligence, sensitivity and temperament required in a good service dog. Identifying and cloning the most effective of the current service dogs will eliminate some of the variables associated with developing these special animals.
6) Develop relatively low-cost commercial dog-cloning services for the general public. This is a long-term goal, requiring a number of technological advances beyond the basic challenge of cloning a single dog. The Missyplicity Project and GSC are collaborating on this goal.
Code of Ethics
With the emergence of cloning and transgenic biotechnology, the field of bioethics has also become prominent. Bioethics is the study of the ethical aspects of human-animal interactions. The overwhelming focus of modern bioethics is the appropriateness and implications of cloning - especially human cloning - with the rights of animals an important topic as well. On the Missyplicity Project, bioethics governs the treatment of all animals involved in the development of relevant technology, as well as the treatment of all cloned animals, and also the future applications of the resulting technology. The Missyplicity Project Staff - including sub-contracted scientists - is contractually bound to the following 9-point "Code of Bioethics" - to maximize the benefits and minimize the harm resulting from this project:
1) In accordance with Federal law, no animals will be intentionally harmed at any point during this project, including the research phase. In addition, no animals will be endangered through lack of attention or care, or by being subjected to risky procedures of any type.
2) The psychological welfare, happiness and socialization of all dogs involved with the Missyplicity Project shall be considered at all times. Every dog shall be guaranteed a daily minimum of one hour of outdoor playtime - weather permitting, indoors otherwise - with people hired specifically for this task.
3) Regardless of the source through which dogs are obtained for use as egg donors or surrogate mothers - animal shelters, breeding farms, etc. - at the completion of their role on the Missyplicity Project, all dogs shall be placed in loving homes. No funds shall be expended for dogs raised under inhumane conditions, such as in "puppy mills".
4) The "turnover rate" before an animal involved with the Missyplicity Project is placed in a loving home shall be limited to eight months, with less than six being the goal.
5) Every effort will be taken to minimize the waste of viable embryos, which will only be destroyed if implantation is impossible, or if the embryos are flawed and likely to result in deformities.
6) All dogs born as a result of this project shall be treated as pets, and placed in loving homes, even if they are not actual clones of Missy. In the unlikely event that a dog is born with deformities or other problems, it will only be euthanized if it is suffering, and shall otherwise be placed in a loving home.
7) No transgenic - "gene-changing" - work of any kind shall be performed.
8) Every effort shall be taken to ensure that the technology and procedures developed for the Missyplicity Project will be applied in the future in an ethical and socially positive manner.
9) No data, personnel or other resources shall be knowingly shared with people or programs seeking to clone human beings.
Is This A Joke?
We are quite serious and fully intend to see this project through to completion. Cloning a dog is largely a matter of the right talent - which we've assembled - combined with sufficient time and money - both of which we have.
source: http://www.savingsandclone.com 17feb02
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