The bond between a pet and pet-parent can be deep and unconditional. The thought of losing your pet – a family member – can be devastating. But what if you could clone your pet? That is exactly what David Best, MD, MBA, co-founder of MDea, BESTMSLs, and The Doctor’s Channel, is preparing to do with his beloved canine companion, Elvis.
Dr. Best is working with ViaGen Pets and Equine to clone Elvis. Blake Russell, MBA, President of ViaGen, explains the relatively simple, non-invasive steps required to start the cloning process. Elvis is taken to a veterinarian and biopsies are taken from various locations to obtain different types of tissues for the cloning process. The recovery for Elvis is minor.
Kerry Ryan, DVM, attending veterinarian and Animal Care Manager for ViaGen, explains that ViaGen staff members take the tissue samples to the lab where the cells are cultured for about 2 weeks and cryopreserved. Elvis’s cryopreserved cells are then sent to ViaGen cloning scientists to be implanted into an unfertilized oocyte. The unfertilized oocyte will have the donor’s genetic material extracted, creating a “blank cassette” for Elvis’s full complement of DNA.