How to Clone Your Dog Like Barbra Streisand Did

In a recent interview with Variety, Barbra Streisand revealed that she had her dog cloned after its death. She now keeps two of the clones as her pets. Although cloning pets surely not cheap, costing upwards of $100,000, the process is possible. Here’s a short walk-through on how it goes.

Streisand, a singer, songwriter, actress and director, revealed that before her 14-year-old Coton de Tulear ‘Samantha’ passed away, she obtained cells from the pup’s mouth and stomach in order to clone her. Now, she has two clones of Samantha named Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet. Although the dogs look like Samantha, Streisand explained it’s still too early to see if they inherited her personality as well.

“They have different personalities,” Streisand said, Variety reported. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her [Samantha’s] brown eyes and seriousness.”

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Dog cloning is still relatively new, and Snuppy, the first successful cloned dog, was born in 2005. Snuppy, a male Afghan hound, was born in South Korea, and today this country continues to pave the way in dog breeding.

RTX2FV6Q Barbra Streisand lives with two clones of her beloved dog. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea is the world’s leader in commercial dog cloning, and to date have cloned more than 600 dogs, many of which were sent over to Americans, Business Insider reported. However, South Korea is not the only country to offer commercial cloning for pets, and the process recently came stateside with ViaGen in Texas.

In order to clone a dog, owners must send a tissue sample, which contains pet's genetic material, of the animal to the laboratory. If the dog is alive, then the sample can be taken by a vet. A sample can still be taken up to a few days after the dog has passed away.

Scientists retrieve living cells from the tissue sample and grow them for a week or two. Scientists then obtain an egg from a donor dog. In the donor egg, they remove the nucleus, which holds the genetic material, and replace the nucleus with genetic material from the target dog.

Normally, an egg must be fertilized with sperm to receive all its genetic information. However, because this egg is a clone, it receives all its genetic information from a single organism and therefore sperm is not required. Instead, the egg is given an electric shock to stimulate cell division.

Related: World’s first cloned dog used to make more cloned dogs so scientists can see what happens

The egg is then placed inside a surrogate dog's womb, where cell division continues and a fetus forms. According to Business Insider, about one out of three cloned embryos fully develops into a healthy puppy.

The science on cloned animals is still relatively new. Snuffy lived to be 10 years old, which is considered average for this breed of dog, Time reported. As for Streisand's cloned puppies, if the photos are any proof, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet seem happy enough, and completely oblivious of just how unique they really are.