The five little Boogers and how they grew

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Sandra Porter

Leave it to those wacky Korean cloners. In December, scientists from Gyeongsang National University gave us fluorescent kitties. Now, we have cute little puppies!

These aren't the first cloned pets on the market, we have stores that sell glowing fish. But these clones have a bit higher price tag. For $50,000 Bernann McKinney got 5 new "Boogers" from RNL Bio; "Booger McKinney," "Booger Lee," "Booger Ra," "Booger Hong and "Booger Park." That's $10,000 a Booger!

Still, who can resist these cute little boogers? I have a picture of the puppies below the fold and as you can see, they're adorable!


image from Associated press

You can also see Ms. McKinney squeezing one her brand new Boogers here (AP article).

It's a heartwarming story. From USA Today, the original Booger

saved her life when she was attacked by another dog three times his size. The incident resulted in her left hand being severely injured, and injured her leg nerves and stomach. Doctors later reconstructed her hand and she spent part of her recovery in a wheelchair.

Ms. McKinney had a strong attachment to her dog. She had even tried to get Booger clones before from Genetics Savings and Clone but they shut down in 2006, leaving her Booger-less.

This time the cloning produced a result. The team, headed by Korean scientist Lee Byeong-chun, claims to have identified the clones as genuine. The claim is being tested by another group at Lee's University.

I know there are people who will criticize Ms. McKinney and say she was misguided and she hasn't really restored her beloved Booger to life. They're right of course. But I also know many people who always get the same breed of dog because they like the personality traits that are characteristic of that breed. And, who can blame dog owners for forgetting sometimes that the second dog is not the same dog as the first? Emotions aren't logical. I think for all practical purposes, Ms. McKinney's cloned Boogers are close enough.

And they're really, really cute.

UPDATE: The New Scientist blog (and lots of news reports) tell us that Bernann McKinney's story is even more unusual than that of her pups. This picture shows what one of the puppies has to say.