Firm taking bids for cloned dogs

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Northern California biotech company announced Wednesday that it would clone dogs for the five highest bidders in a series of online auctions. Some ethicists condemned the offer, fearing it could lead to human clones.

Opening bids start at $100,000 for the service being offered by Mill Valley-based BioArts International. The cloning process is to be performed by South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who scandalized the international scientific community in 2005 when his breakthrough human cloning research involving embryonic stem cells was found to have been faked.

Hwang’s cloning of dogs, however, has been verified as successful. The auctions are scheduled to begin June 18.