Memories ... Barbra Streisand cloned beloved dog, twice

Commentary: Can it be that cloning is all so simple now? For musical legend Barbra Streisand, yes, apparently.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Can science help us re-create what we've lost? 

Can a pet, or even a loved one, be brought back to life in something akin to a fine copy?

Or will time irrevocably rewrite every line, no matter how much we want to believe things can be the same?

I only ask because Barbra Streisand says she's had two clones created from her beloved dog Samantha, who died in 2017.

Our new basket of adorables

A post shared by Barbra Streisand (@barbrastreisand) on

As Variety reports, the Hollywood legend says she had cells taken from Samantha's mouth and tummy before she died. Samantha was a Coton Du Tulear, which the American Kennel Club describes as "bright, happy-go-lucky, endlessly charming," as well as "born to love and to be loved."

They do sound adorable. 

But are they all bright and endlessly charming in the same way as Samantha? It seems not. Indeed, Streisand's description of Samantha doesn't quite match the AKC's. 

"I'm waiting for them [the clones] to get older to see if they have Samantha's brown eyes and seriousness," she said. She added that Miss Lavender and Miss Violet have their own personalities.

It's unclear where she might have had the two dogs created, and her representative didn't respond to a request for comment. Streisand also owns a third Coton Du Tulear, a cousin of Samantha named Miss Fanny.

The cloning of animals is now a regular practice both for animal owners and scientists.

Why, in 2014 a British woman won a competition and had her sausage dog cloned.

As for scientists, in Brazil there's a project to clone those animals that are especially endangered. Scientists in Russia are even exploring whether extinct animals such as the mammoth can be brought back to life by cloning.

The process of cloning involves taking a body cell from an animal and then inserting into an egg cell that's had its nucleus of DNA removed. Sometimes this involves needles and, in another method, electric current to bring the cells together. 

At first, the embryo is kept in a test-tube. Some time later, it's inserted into the womb of a female animal. The guinea pig -- as it were -- for this process was Dolly the sheep 22 years ago.

I'm of two minds about this. Part of me wants to let sleeping dogs lie and dead ones to join them. 

I also understand the emotions involved in wanting to have memories in the corner of your mind all the time, having them reside in your frontal lobes and even your living room might be a little much for some.

Sometimes, you just have to let go.

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