Monday, July 11, 2022



Dolly (taxidermied)

Dolly (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female Finnish Dorset sheep and the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. She was cloned by associates of the Roslin Institute in Scotland, using the process of nuclear transfer from a cell taken from a mammary gland. Her cloning proved that a cloned organism could be produced from a mature cell from a specific body part.

Dolly was important because she was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Her birth proved that specialised cells could be used to create an exact copy of the animal they came from. This knowledge changed what scientists thought was possible and opened up a lot of possibilities in biology and medicine, including the development of personalised stem cells known as iPS cells.

However, Dolly was not the first ever cloned mammal. That honour belongs to another sheep which was cloned from an embryo cell and born in 1984 in Cambridge, UK. Two other sheep, Megan and Morag, had also been cloned from embryonic cells grown in the lab at The Roslin Institute in 1995 and six other sheep, cloned from embryonic and foetal cells, were born at Roslin at the same time as Dolly. What made Dolly so special was that she had been made from an adult cell, which no-one at the time thought was possible.

Dolly lived at the Roslin Institute throughout her life and produced several lambs. She was euthanised at the age of six years due to a progressive lung disease. No cause which linked the disease to her cloning was found.


Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was slightly gray
It didn’t have a father, just some borrowed DNA.
It sort of had a mother, though the ovum was on loan,
It was not so much a lambkin as a little lamby clone.
And soon it had a fellow clone, and soon it had some more,
They followed her to school one day, all cramming through the door.
It made the children laugh and sing, the teachers found it droll,
There were too many lamby clones, for Mary to control.
No other could control the sheep, since the programs didn’t vary,
So the scientists resolved it all, by simply cloning Mary.
But now they feel quite sheepish, those scientists unwary,
One problem solved but what to do, with Mary, Mary, Mary.

- Author unknown


Mary had a little lamb, but she really wanted two,
And thanks to genetic research, she knew just what to do !
Scientists took the DNA from Mary's lamb and said,
We'll make a carbon copy, and a lamb clone will be bred !
So, a brand new lamb was born, and people called it Dolly.
Mammal cloning's first big star, or mankind's biggest folly ?
For if we start to clone ourselves, aren't we playing God ?
Creating some master race, with perfect face and bod ?
If today we clone a lamb, how long will it be
'Til someone decides to clone himself, and not clone you and me ?
So the next time Mary's little lamb comes walking down the way,
Admire its fleece, as white a snow, and not its DNA.

Author unknown


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