On This Day: What happened to Dolly the cloned sheep?
This article is part of Yahoo's 'On This Day' series
A sheep born just outside Edinburgh in Scotland became world famous on this day, 25 years ago.
Dolly the Sheep (as she was known) was the first sheep cloned from an adult cell - and sparked a huge surge in interest in cloning technology, as well as a panic about the possibility of human cloning.
Dolly was named after country singer Dolly Parton (because she was cloned from a mammary cell).
Dr Ian Wilmut, head of the research team at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, said, "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's."
(Dolly, incidentally, was not offended: her agent said simply, “There’s no such thing as baa’d publicity.”)
The mammary cell’s nucleus was implanted in an unfertilised egg from another adult sheep, and Dollly was born.
She was genetically identical to the sheep from whom the mammary cell was taken.
Previously, it had been believed that it was not possible to clone an animal from an adult cell - Dolly was the first lamb born out of 277 attempts.
The breakthrough sparked a panic - including far-fetched ideas that the same technique could be used to bring Hitler back to life.
Dr Wilmut dismissed the idea saying, “I think it is really fanciful. The idea that people will do that belongs in films and books and not in real life. `Everybody in the group would find it offensive to work with human material. We would find it unethical, unnacceptable and it would also be illegal.”
Later a man contacted the Roslin team asking for them to resurrect his dead fiancee as a clone - and the team had to explain that his bride would be ‘reborn’ as a baby.
Dolly became famous around the world, and lived in the Roslin institute, where she had six lambs of her own.
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Embryologist Karen Walker, who had helped to create Dolly said she was like a ‘diva’ and relished the attention her fame brought her, saying, “If she'd had a lipstick, she would have put it on for the reporters. She'd literally fluff herself up.”
She died aged six-and-a-half - despite a theoretical life expectancy of around 11 years - which some suggested was due to her having been cloned.
But analysis found that she had suffered from lung cancer, due to a common sheep virus.
In the wake of Dolly, other large animals have been cloned, including bulls, pigs and horses.
Scientists believe that one day, the technique may be valuable for saving endangered species.
Since 2003, Dolly has been stuffed and on display at the National Museum of Scotland, where she is a popular exhibit.