Like Frankenstein, With Cows: Cloned Animal Reportedly Attacks Its Creator

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 26 2013 2:43 PM

Like Frankenstein, With Cows: Cloned Animal Reportedly Attacks Its Creator

A cloned cow—but not the one that reportedly attacked Park Se-pill

Photo by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

In an event ripped straight of the gothic horror novel Frankenstein, a renowned embryologist was reportedly attacked by one of his cloned creations recently. The beast in this case, though, wasn’t a monster pieced together from the bodies of other animals—no, it was an 800-kilogram, black cow.

“Prof. Park Se-pill at Jeju National University had five of his ribs broken and injured his spine in the Sept. 15 attack,” reports the Korea Times. “Park was video-recording a black cow, which he cloned from species indigenous to Jeju four years ago, and all of a sudden, it charged and attacked him for 15 minutes,” a school official said. The embryologist will need eight weeks of medical treatment for his injuries.


The bovine made headlines in 2009 when Park successfully cloned it using a frozen cell taken from a deceased animal. This means the black cow is, in a sense, a “revival” of the cow that the cell was harvested from. Like a phoenix reborn after it dies—but rather than emerging from ashes, the cow originated from a test-tube.

While Park’s incident is unfortunate, it’s hard not to think of the real life allusions between the attack and Frankenstein. Perhaps if the cow could talk it would have quoted a famous line from the novel in which the monster exclaims to Dr. Frankenstein: “You are my creator, but I am your master—obey!”

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Jathan Sadowski is a graduate student studying applied ethics and the human and social dimensions of science and technology at Arizona State University.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.