FAQs

General Information

I have a lot of questions and these are important decisions. Will ViaGen help me through the process?

Yes, we will guide your through the process. Your personal ViaGen Client Service Representative will work with you to answer all of your questions at every step. We’re committed to providing clear communication and trustworthy support.

Is cloning the same as genetic modification?

No. Cloning does not involve genetic modification. Cloning preserves the exact genetic make-up of your animal and is most easily understood as the process of creating a ‘twin.’

Genetic Preservation

Are express tissue banking (ETB), genetic preservation (GP) and cloning the same thing?

No. These are actually three distinct services.

Express tissue banking cryo-preserves and stores an animal’s tissue and does not move to the step of cell culturing, which can be done later.

Genetic preservation uses the animal’s tissue to develop a cell culture of your animal, which can be used for the cloning process, or can be preserved and stored for cloning at a later date.

Cloning is the actual creation and birth of a genetic twin animal using the genetic material that has been preserved during the genetic preservation process.

How can I preserve the genetics of my animal long-term through “genetic preservation (GP)”?

Genetic preservation is the long-term storage of an animal’s genes. ViaGen’s genetic preservation service consists of three steps:
1. We obtain tissue biopsy samples from your animal by sending a ViaGen Biopsy Kit. Your veterinarian will use the kit to collect a sample, and then the kit will be returned to ViaGen.
2. We then grow (“culture”) new cells in the lab from the tissue samples to ensure that the cells are viable.
3. Finally, we prepare the live cells for long-term frozen storage. This process is known as cryopreservation.

How do I know my animal’s genes are safe and secure?

ViaGen places an extremely high priority on the safety and security of your animal’s valuable genes. Our facilities are locked at all times, and can only be accessed by authorized personnel. Outside of business hours, our facilities have alarm systems to protect against intruders. We also have automatic sprinkler systems to prevent fire, and generators to provide power in the event of a power outage. Importantly, we store a secondary number of cells for each client at another secure location.

How do I order a genetic preservation and/or cloning service?

Simply call ViaGen at 1-888-876-6104 or 1-512-986-7212 and ask for Customer Service. You may also order genetic preservation (GP) and animal cloning directly through this website.

How long does DNA last when preserved using the ViaGen methods?

Cellular DNA preserved through freezing has been successfully utilized after decades of storage.

How much does genetic preservation cost?

A genetic preservation is provided as a basic service for $1,600.00.

 

*Pricing is subject to change without notice.

Is cloning the same as genetic modification?

No. Cloning does not involve genetic modification. Cloning preserves the exact genetic make-up of your animal and is most easily understood as the process of creating a ‘twin.’

If I decide to start a genetic preservation of my animal, how long will it take to determine whether my animal’s genes have been successfully preserved?

Your personal ViaGen Client Service Representative will be in contact with you each step of the way. Typically, you will be notified within four weeks after the sample arrives at our laboratory to confirm that your animal’s genes were preserved successfully.

If I produce a genetic preservation of my animal, does that mean it will be cloned?

No. Genetic preservation and cloning are separate services, which you specify when you order. Ordering genetic oreservation of your animal with ViaGen in no way obligates you to order our cloning services.

What animal species does ViaGen currently provide genetic preservation and cloning services for?

We preserve genetic material for any non-primate mammal. This includes horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. Please contact us if you wish to preserve or clone other animals; our scientific staff has experience in the cloning of multiple species. Please note that ViaGen’s reproductive services focus exclusively on animals; we are neither directly nor indirectly involved in any non-human primate or human cloning efforts.

What if I decide I no longer want to preserve my animal’s genes?

If you decide you no longer want to preserve your animal’s genes, simply notify us and we will prepare a Preservation Closure form for you to sign. Upon receipt of the signed document the cell storage will be ended.

What if I want to transfer my animal’s genetic preservation to another company?

ViaGen will prepare and transfer your materials to the company of your choice for a nominal processing fee. Please call us at 888-884-2436 for additional details, current prices, terms, discounts and fees.

What if I’m not ready to do a genetic preservation of my animal, but don’t want to miss the opportunity?

An economical alternative to full Genetic Preservation (GP) is Express Tissue Banking (ETB), in which the tissue sample is frozen. This option is provided for animal owners who wish to preserve samples from multiple animals and animal owners who simply are not certain they will move forward with cloning. Ultimately, ETB must be cultured into a GP if the client desires to clone at a later date.  Express Tissue Banking (ETB) may be ordered through this website.

What if my animal dies unexpectedly and I wish to produce a genetic preservation after the death event?

Timing and proper sample storage is critical in this scenario, so contact us right away at 1-888-876-6104 or 1-512-986-7212 and ask for Customer Service to assist you.
Refrigerating and NOT FREEZING your tissue sample immediately after death is the first critical step. Tissue biopsy samples should then be collected from your animal as soon as possible after an animal passes away using our emergency biopsy protocol for pets, horses and livestock. It is recommended that a veterinarian perform the biopsy procedure.

What if the tissue biopsy I send in does not culture successfully?

If the biopsy sample from your animal does not provide sufficient quantity and/or quality of viable cells, your ViaGen representative will notify you. At that time, you will have the option of sending a second sample to our laboratory for processing at no additional cost to you.

Who owns my animal’s genetic preservation once ViaGen has finished the process?

ViaGen establishes a contract with all of our clients, which guarantees that the client will always own his or her animal’s genetic preservation. We will not culture, clone, transfer or dispose of materials that belong to a client without that client’s permission.

Will the tissue biopsy process harm my animal in any way?

No. Obtaining a biopsy sample from your animal is a simple matter; your animal will normally heal within a few days. We recommend using your veterinarian for this routine procedure.

Cloning Technology

Are animals that have been produced by cloning healthy?

The majority of animals produced by cloning live healthy lives. The health problems that affect some animals produced by cloning also occur in naturally conceived animals. However, some clinical studies have shown the health problems in animals produced by assisted reproductive technologies—such as cloning, in vitro fertilization, and embryo transfer— are only slightly higher than in animals produced without technological assistance. As cloning scientists study these health problems and develop prevention and treatment, the findings may contribute to improved veterinary care for all animals.

Are express tissue banking (ETB), genetic preservation (GP) and cloning the same thing?

No. These are actually three distinct services.

Express tissue banking cryo-preserves and stores an animal’s tissue and does not move to the step of cell culturing, which can be done later.

Genetic preservation uses the animal’s tissue to develop a cell culture of your animal, which can be used for the cloning process, or can be preserved and stored for cloning at a later date.

Cloning is the actual creation and birth of a genetic twin animal using the genetic material that has been preserved during the genetic preservation process.

Do animals produced by cloning live normal lifespans?

Yes. Cloned animals live normal lifespans. The theory that cloning causes animals to be born “old” or age rapidly has been disproved. This theory was based on the fact that telomeres, which are caps on the ends of chromosomes, shorten as an animal ages. When the first adult animals were cloned, scientists wondered whether their telomeres would be the same length as the telomeres of the adult animals from which they were cloned—in other words, would they start life prematurely old. It turns out that cellular reprogramming during the cloning process re-sets telomeres to lengths that are normal for newborns. In short, the age of the donor animal (the animal whose DNA is used in a cloning procedure) does not affect the age or aging process of the new animal.

How do I order a genetic preservation and/or cloning service?

Simply call ViaGen at 1-888-876-6104 or 1-512-986-7212 and ask for Customer Service. You may also order genetic preservation (GP) and animal cloning directly through this website.

How does the animal cloning process work?

The word “cloning” is simply a term to describe the Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) process. For an introduction to this process, please view our short video here.

Is cloning the same as genetic modification?

No. Cloning does not involve genetic modification. Cloning preserves the exact genetic make-up of your animal and is most easily understood as the process of creating a ‘twin.’

If I produce a genetic preservation of my animal, does that mean it will be cloned?

No. Genetic preservation and cloning are separate services, which you specify when you order. Ordering genetic oreservation of your animal with ViaGen in no way obligates you to order our cloning services.

Is an animal that has been produced by cloning physically and behaviorally identical to the “original” animal?

Animals produced by cloning have the same genes as their donor animals, which is why we describe them as being like later-born identical twins. Also like identical twins, the new animals and their donors may have phenotypic differences, such as differences in markings. These differences may be caused by natural epigenetic factors. Since genes influence behavior, animals produced by cloning and their donors generally have behavioral similarities. However, they will also likely have differences, because an animal’s behavior is influenced by its experience and environment. In short, the new animal may not be indistinguishable from its donor animal, but it will be the closest possible match.

What animal species does ViaGen currently provide genetic preservation and cloning services for?

We preserve genetic material for any non-primate mammal. This includes horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. Please contact us if you wish to preserve or clone other animals; our scientific staff has experience in the cloning of multiple species. Please note that ViaGen’s reproductive services focus exclusively on animals; we are neither directly nor indirectly involved in any non-human primate or human cloning efforts.

What is a cloned animal?

A cloned animal is a genetically identical twin of the original donor animal, just born at a later place in time.