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For $100,000 You Can Clone Your Dog

The person to do it for you is Hwang Woo Suk, the South Korean scientist disgraced ten years ago for claiming falsely to have cloned a human embryo. But his dog-cloning is for real. He did the first in 2005 and now sells 150 to 200 duplicated canines a year. His likely next move will be a lab in China, where trophy dogs sell for fine-art prices — $2.6m for a Tibetan mastiff puppy. Can pandas be far behind? (5,900 words)

Our Militant Resources

From the archives. The Spectator argues in 1914 that the British should not fear air-raids by German Zeppelins. “The Londoners who will be killed will be almost all non-combatants, and thus from the military point of view quite negligible. To put the matter quite frankly, five hundred non-combatants killed in London will deplete our military strength very much less than five soldiers or one officer killed at the front” (1,480 words)

The Origins Of The Shroud Of Turin

It isn’t the burial shroud of Christ. It was probably painted only a few years before it was first exhibited in a chapel near Troyes, France, in 1355. The Bishop of Troyes said he had “actually tracked down the painter”. Popular belief that the image on the cloth might be an original imprint of Christ’s body began to spread a century later, after the Savoy family bought the Shroud in 1453 and exposed it annually in Turin (8,400 words)

Tales Of The Hobbit

Scientists recount the discovery of Homo floresiensis, “the most important hominin fossil in a generation”. The bones were of something human-like, but smaller — perhaps a new species. “It’s not a diseased modern human. Whether it’s a shrunken version of a Homo erectus, or something more ancient like a Homo habilis, or even an australopithecine who’s managed to struggle out of Africa — that’s still pretty much up for grabs” (3,550 words)

Making Cows From Steaks

Only three cattle carcasses in 10,000 yield perfect rib-eye stakes, at least when the cows are traditionally raised. But what if you took cells from a perfect steak and used them to clone a purpose-built cow? Animal scientists in Texas are running the experiment. The first generation of clones is due to give birth to a second generation of calves in February. The first reverse-engineered rib-eye will be ready two years after that (2,750 words)

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