Dolly (sheep)

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Dolly (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. [1][2] She was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in Scotland. She was born on 5 July 1996 and she lived until the age of six.[3] She has been called "the world's most famous sheep" by sources including BBC News and Scientific American.[4][5]

The cell used as the donor for the cloning of Dolly was taken from a mammary gland, and the production of a healthy clone therefore proved that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. On Dolly's name, Wilmut stated "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's".[6].

Contents

Birth

Dolly was born 5 July 1996 to three mothers (one provided the egg, another the DNA and a third carried the cloned embryo to term).[7] She was created using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilised oocyte (developing egg cell) that has had its nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock, and when it develops into a blastocyst it is implanted in a surrogate mother.[8] Dolly was the first clone produced from a cell taken from an adult mammal. The production of Dolly showed that genes in the nucleus of such a mature differentiated somatic cell are still capable of reverting back to an embryonic totipotent state, creating a cell that can then go on to develop into any part of an animal.[9]

Life

Dolly lived for her entire life at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh. There she was bred with a Welsh Mountain ram and produced six lambs in total. Her first lamb, named Bonnie, was born in April 1998.[3] The next year Dolly produced twin lambs Sally and Rosie, and she gave birth to triplets Lucy, Darcy and Cotton in the year after that.[10] In the autumn of 2001, at the age of five, Dolly developed arthritis and began to walk stiffly, but this was successfully treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.[11]

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