Adventures in Cloneland

CC, a cloned cat, as a kitten.

Hi all–I have returned, at last, from my various travels. I’m excited to be back home in Brooklyn and to return to blogging in earnest.

I’m still processing what I learned on my assorted research adventures, but one of the highlights was my trip to Texas, which I think must be the cloning capital of the United States. I met three (count ’em, three!) different cloned critters while I was there.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with CC, the world’s first cloned cat. Born back in 2001, CC (short for “copy cat,” or “carbon copy”) dramatically illustrated some of the limitations of cloning–though she was a clone of a tri-colored cat named Rainbow, CC popped into the world with a totally different coat pattern. (She was white and gray but had none of the orange spots that Rainbow did.) It was a powerful illustration of what many cloners had already been saying–that even cloning an animal will not give you its exact replica. In any case, CC was long ago adopted by one of the researchers that brought her into being, and I got the chance to visit her in her new home, where she seems healthy and happy.

Here’s a photo of CC as a kitten:

The "frankenkitten" herself. Not so scary, is she?

And here’s the photo I took of her just a few days ago:

CC today, in her new home.

I also got the chance to meet Dewey, a cloned deer, and Bruce, a cloned bull, bringing my clone count to three. Dewey licked my fingers and Bruce snorted emphatically when I came close, rocketing some cloned snot out onto one of my shoes. So between the saliva, the snot, and the cat hair, I’m pretty sure I’ve unwittingly transported some bio-souvenirs back to Brooklyn with me. (Hi, roommates! I’m ho-ome!)

Images: 1. Texas A&M University 2. Texas A&M University 3. Emily Anthes

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