US singer and actress Babara Streisand has shared pictures of her beloved pooches, leaving social media followers wondering if they're seeing double, or maybe even triple!
By, 10 Jun 2019
One Instagram snap shows Streisand's twin pups, Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet, alongside their doggy cousin, Miss Fanny.
Streisand took the doggy gang to visit the grave of her former pet, Coton de Tulear Samantha. You can see a pic of the late pooch embedded into the headstone, and on closer inspection, she bears a striking resemblance to Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet.
In fact, they're identical, and it's all thanks to the miracle of modern day genetic cloning.
Speaking in a 2018 interview with the New York Times, Streisand said:
“I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way.”
“It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA...Sammie's doctor took some cells from inside her cheek and the skin on her tummy just before she died."
The singer/actress went onto to say that despite the physical similarities, Samantha's "babies" have their own unique personalities:
"You can clone the look of a dog, but you can't clone the soul.”
Cloning is possible, but is it right?
The first dog was cloned in 2005 by a South Korean company. Scientists took a donor egg from a female dog and removed the nucleus which contains all the genetic material. They "filled" the nucleus with a DNA sample from a deceased dog before using electric shocks to trigger cell division. The egg was then implanted into a surrogate female dog.
Dog cloning is a very controversial subject that raises big questions about the future of medical ethics. And it's not cheap - cloning a dog costs around £63,000.