February 26, 2018

Yes, Barbra Streisand Cloned Her Dog...Twice

While we are all aware that cloning your dog is a total possibility, it still doesn't seem like much of a reality. A lot of things can seem like a crazy scientific mystery, but it's not a mystery to Broadway veteran star, Barbra Streisand. 

This "funny girl's" story starts with her precious Coton du Tulear, Samantha, who passed away at age 14 in 2017. Streisand loved Samantha so much that before she died, she had cells taken from both her mouth and stomach. You can only guess what these other cells became... another Samantha! 

Cloning can still be a little confusing, obviously. The first cloning case, as many might remember, is the infamous cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996. Since then, cloning of various animals has taken place. The first cloned dog in American was a Jack Russell Terrier named Nubia, born in 2016. ViaGen, a company based in Texas, was responsible for cloning Nubia and over a hundred dogs and cats since then. 

So, how does it work? The cloned pet's skin cell is inserted into a donor pet's eggs (whose nucleus has been removed) and given an electric shock to begin the embryo's dividing process. Then, the modified embryos are implanted into surrogate mom dogs, who then give birth to an genetic replication of a cloned dog. 

Of course, none of this is inexpensive. Sooam Biotech Research Foundation charges about $100,000 for their services, while ViaGen charges $50,000 for a dog and $25,000 for a cat.

Of course, superstars like Barbra Streisand can afford to foot the bill of not just one cloned dog, but two. Yup, Streisand loved Samantha so much that she had her cloned twice, resulting in her adorable pups, Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. She also owns one of Samantha's cousins, appropriately named Miss Fanny.

Of course, we shouldn't all turn to cloning. There is still some doubt over whether or not cloning is completely safe, especially for the surrogate mom pups who are required to have surgery to implant the embryos. If you're hurting over the loss of the perfect furry friend, just remember how incredibly exciting it is getting to know and bond with a new member of your furry family, whether they come from the shelter, breeder, or even your old dog...

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On July 6, 2010, the Fresh Patch Company began operating from its headquarters in Florida. Its flagship product is a disposable pet commode consisting of hydroponically grown grass within a cardboard container. On September 3, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for the construction and continuous delivery/replacement method of the product (U.S. Patent No. 8,522,719).

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