On today’s article you will discover interesting facts about Dolly, the most famous sheep in the world. Even if is not an article strictly related to history, we consider this event a major one. But at first let’s see what exactly made Dolly so special.
On July 5, 1966, was born the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. For the first time in history, a group of researchers from Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh) announced that they have succeeded in cloning an adult mammal. Ian Wilmut and his team “created” Dolly, a sheep born from three parents: one provided the egg, another DNA and a third carried the cloned embryo to term.
The technique used by the researchers can be summarized in the following steps:
- A cell is extracted from the mammary gland from sheep A, which will be cloned.
- An unfertilized ovum is collected from sheep B.
- The two cells are merged and the new cell is implanted into the uterus of sheep C.
The purpose of these researches wasn’t to obtain copies of already existing animals, but in fact, these animals could be used as experimental models for the treatment of human diseases or for the production of stem cells. Thus, cloning a human is a way of treating fatal diseases, but there are voices who oppose human cloning.
Dolly lived her entire life at the Roslin Institute where she gave birth to six lambs during her life. On February 14, 2003, Dolly was euthanized because of her severe arthritis and a progressive lung disease.
- Dolly was cloned after 277 attempts.
- The sheep was named after Dolly Parton, a famous country singer.
- Dolly appeared in the Time magazine.
- Though Dolly was born in July 1996, her existence was announced to the public on 22 February 1997.
- You can see Dolly at the National Museum of Scotland.