Well, hello Dollies. Four clones of Dolly the Sheep have been made by the scientist who created the original Dolly. The quadruplets, nicknamed the Dollies, are exact genetic copies of their…mother (?), who was euthanized seven years ago after a life of health problems and lung disease.
“Dolly is alive and well. Genetically these are Dolly,” Professor Keith Campbell, who keeps the Dollies as pets on land at Nottingham University. “We are not doing anything to them, they have no health concerns and they show none of the signs of developing the arthritis that Dolly had.”
The professor noted that the latest experiments were conducted to see whether improvements to the process could eliminate the risk of health problems. Although the Dollies are being kept as pets, their health is being closely monitored.
Back in her day, Dolly was the poster child (poster lamb, I guess) for genetic technology. Her creation showed that scientists could reverse cellular time by converting an adult sheep’s cell into an embryo, which was then grown into a new sheep. Ewe! Dolly inspired a fierce debate about the ethics and ramifications of cloning, and her chronic health problems added fuel to the fire.
What do you think about the new Dollies, and cloning in general? If you had the opportunity, would you clone your favorite pet?