When news sprung forth from the hillocks of Scotland back in the summer of ’96 that scientists had managed the first ever case of mammalian cloning, we were all convinced that nothing would ever be quite the same. In a year’s time, the planet’s livestock supply would quintuple; all endangered species would again reign supreme across the wild; superpower militaries would be filled to the brim with genetically engineered human drones. Dolly was only the first domino—soon enough, the world would fall to the order of facsimile helices.
We may have jumped the gun.
It’s been 22 years since that Gaelic ewe made international headlines, and cloning hasn’t exactly caught on. Though we’ve gotten a few odd cows, cats, goats, and fruit flies here and there, the practice hasn’t quite permeated popular culture quite the way we expected it to… beyond Orphan Black, that is. But we may be in for a new wave of doggie duplication yet, as all it takes is one celebrity spokesperson to kick off a nationwide trend. And cloning has found just that in Barbra Streisand.
Unwilling to submit to the inevitability of bidding a permanent goodbye to her aging pooch Samantha, film and theater icon Streisand had the 14-year-old Coton du Tulear cloned last year prior to her ultimate passing. The result, as Streisand told Variety: two identical puppies named Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, both of whom live with Streisand today.
Though the specifics of the dogs’ gestation, or of how exactly Streisand went about wrangling a Malibu-based dog cloner for just such an occasion, remain unclear, theirs is a story that should provide a bit of warmth and hope to anyone with a full heart, an endless supply of Funny Girl residuals, and a liberal attitude regarding the barriers of scientific possibility.
Would you clone your beloved pooch or kitty? Let us know!
Image: MGM/UA Entertainment Company
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