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On This Day



On This Day… Dolly, The Most Famous Sheep In History

Written by: George Chittenden : 20 May 2019

It was on this day, 5th July back in 1996 when the first cloned mammal was born, Dolly the sheep. She was born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, and was cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. Basically she was created when the cell nucleus from an adult cell, which was taken from the mammary gland of another sheep, was transferred into an unfertilized egg cell that had had its cell nucleus removed. So Dolly, who is possibly the most famous sheep in history actually had three mothers: one provided the egg, another the DNA, and a third carried the cloned embryo to term.

Dolly was a modern miracle. She starred in a TV commercial with Scottish scientists playing with sheep, and she even featured in Time Magazine. She also gave birth to six lambs during her lifetime, which was spent at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian where she was born. Unfortunately she developed arthritis and began to walk stiffly when she was four years old. In the end Dolly suffered from a progressive lung disease and was euthanised on February 14th, 2003. Since the success of Dolly, many other large mammals have been cloned, including horses, bulls, deer, pigs and even some macaque monkeys. So what’s the point? Well, cloning may have uses in preserving endangered species and may become a viable tool for reviving extinct species

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