Dolly was a female Finn-Dorset sheep and the first mammal that was 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. Dolly was cloned from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a six-year-old Finn Dorset sheep and an egg cell taken from a Scottish Blackface sheep.
She was born to her Scottish Blackface surrogate mother on July 5th 1996.
Dolly’s white face was one of the first signs that she was a clone because if she was genetically related to her surrogate mother, she would have had a black face.
Experiment on Dolly
Dolly was part of a series of experiments at The Roslin Institute that were trying to develop a better method for producing genetically modified livestock. If successful, this would mean fewer animals would need to be used in future experiments. Scientists at Roslin also wanted to learn more about how cells change during development and whether a specialised cell, such as a skin or brain cell, could be used to make a whole new animal.
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.
Where she spent her life?
Dolly lived her entire life at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian. 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. The next year Dolly produced twin lambs Sally and Rosie, and she gave birth to triplets Lucy, Darcy and Cotton in 2000.
On 14 February 2003, Dolly was euthanised because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. A Finn Dorset such as Dolly has a life expectancy of around 11 to 12 years, but Dolly lived 6.5 years. A post-mortem examination showed she had a form of lung cancer called ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma, also known as Jaagsiekte, which is a fairly common disease amongst sheep and is caused by the retrovirus JSRV